President Kovind arrives in Jamaica; to hold talks with Governor-General and Prime Minister

Kingston: President Ram Nath Kovind has arrived in Jamaica for a state visit, the first by any Indian President to the Caribbean country, during which he will hold talks with his counterpart Governor-General Patrick Allen and Prime Minister Andrew Holness on the entire gamut of the multifaceted relationship between the two countries.

President Kovind accompanied by his wife Savita Kovind arrived here on Sunday on the first leg of his two-nation tour that will also take him to St Vincent and Grenadines.

"Sir Patrick Allen, Governor-General of Jamaica and PM Andrew Holness received President Kovind at the airport," the President's Office tweeted.

"The Presidential visit is happening in the 60th anniversary year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The President was accorded a guard of honour on his arrival," it said.

Prime Minister Holness said he was deeply pleased to extend a warm Jamaican welcome to Kovind and his wife.

"This is the first state visit of an Indian President to Jamaica. Welcome to Jamaica, His Excellency the Honourable Ram Nath Kovind," he tweeted.

Kamina J Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, said they look forward to "strengthening the friendship between our countries" during Kovind's visit.

He will begin his visit by paying his obeisance to the memorial of Marcus Garvey, the national hero of Jamaica. Garvey was a political activist, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur and orator.

Kovind will discuss the entire gamut of the multifaceted relationship between the two countries during his talks with the Governor-General and the Prime Minister, The Gleaner, a Jamaican newspaper quoted India's high commissioner to Jamaica Rungsung Masakui as saying.

The President will be in Jamaica till May 18. During the visit, he will hold delegation-level talks with Governor-General Allen. He will also meet Prime Minister Holness and other dignitaries. He will address the Joint Sitting of the two Houses of the Jamaican Parliament, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

Jamaica and India have friendly relations. Jamaica is also one of the Girmitya countries with a 70,000 strong Indian diaspora, which acts as a living bridge with India," it said.

"The visit comes at a significant milestone as 2022 is the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Jamaica. Furthermore, India and Jamaica are celebrating the 75th and 60th anniversaries of their independence respectively," it added.

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