PRESIDENT RAM Nath Kovind will visit Vietnam and Australia from November 18 to 24 with an aim to strengthen ties with the Indo-Pacific nations, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.
Kovind will be in Vietnam in the first leg of his trip. This will also be his first visit to an ASEAN country, said Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (east) in the Ministry of External Affairs.
In Vietnam, the President will first visit Da Nang, a region which has rich and historical civilisational connect. It is also the location of world heritage site Me Son.
Kovind will then visit Hanoi where he will lay a wreath at the monument of National Heroes and Martyrs and at the mausoleum of Ho Chi Min.
He will hold talks with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Phu Trong, besides meeting Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and other leaders.
Kovind will also be addressing the National Assembly of Vietnam. He will become the second foreign leader to achieve the rare honour after Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The President’s second leg of the visit will be in Australia from November 21 to 24. This is the first visit by an Indian President to Australia, Singh said. Kovind will visit Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. He will meet Governor General Peter Cosgrove and Prime Minister Scott Morisson during his visit. He will unveil a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Parramatta, a prominent suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales.
In Sydney, he will address the Indian diaspora. Australia has half a million Indians.
The president will also address the Australian Financial Business Review.
In Melbourne, Kovind will meet Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau and address students of the Melbourne University.