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President’s visit to Ghana, Ivory Coast first by Indian head of state

New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee’s upcoming visit to Ghana and Ivory Coast will be the first by an Indian head of state while the presidential visit to Namibia comes after 21 years, External Affairs Ministry said on Wednesday.

“It will be the first visit to Ghana and Ivory Coast at the level of the head of state. The Namibia visit too is happening after 21 years,” Ministry of External Affairs Secretary (ER) Amar Singh told reporters here.

Mukherjee’s three-nation itinerary begins with the Ghana visit on June 12. He will reach Ivory Coast on June 14 afternoon. He will visit Namibia on June 15 and will be there till June 17.

“The visit is part of the outreach to Africa which kicked off with the visit of the Vice President (M. Hamid Ansari) to Morocco last week. The President has taken on the responsibility of visit to these three countries,” he said.

Giving details, Sinha said the President will unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Ghana.

He said a number of agreements are slated to be signed during the visit, which may include some on visa waivers.

The President will be accompanied by a Minister of State, four Members of Parliament, senior officials and business and media delegations.

During the visit, discussions will be held on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.

Mukherjee will also address a joint session of Parliament of Namibia, an India-Namibia business event, and speak at the Namibian University of Science and Technology, an official statement said.

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