According to ANI news reports, Kovind arrived at the International Airport of Cardinal Bernadine de Cotonou, and was welcomed by Aurelien Agbenonci, the foreign minister of Benin, Indian external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said via Twitter.
Raj Nath Singh tweeted: “Reached Maputo in Mozambique and visited the FADM Military Headquarters this evening. India is willing to forge a strong bilateral relationship with Mozambique by increasing regular engagement and cooperation in multiple spheres.”
Reached Maputo in Mozambique and visited the FADM Military Headquarters this evening.
— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) July 28, 2019
In a tweet, Kumar wrote: “President of India arrives at Cardinal Bernadine de Cotonou International Airport #Benin on his first leg of three nations tour to West African region, Foreign minister of Benin Mr Aurelien Agbenonci received him @rashtrapatibhvn @AAgbenonciMAEC @PresidenceBenin.”
The development marked the first-ever official state visit by Kovind. The visit aimed at developing New Delhi’s relations with other African nations.
To continue India’s high level engagements with West African countries, #PresidentKovind emplanes for state visits to #Benin #Gambia and #Guinea. This visit will be the first high level visit of a Head of State from India to all the three countries. pic.twitter.com/uwfdv7TH4H
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) July 28, 2019
During his week-long visit, the Indian president is scheduled to pay an official visit to the Gambia and Guinea.
RM Shri @rajnathsingh and the Defence Minister of Mozambique, Mr Atanasio Salvador M’Tumuke are present at the Handing Over Ceremony of 2 Fast Interceptor Boats in Maputo. @IndiainMoz pic.twitter.com/4G9p9Ss7ax
— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) July 29, 2019
He is also scheduled to hold dialogues with Benin’s President Patrice Talon, and later his will make a tour to Porto Novo, the Beninese Parliament’s seat, as per the statement of the MEA spokesperson.
Kovind is also slated to address the National Assembly there over a special invitation extended by Benin to India, during which the president of Benin will host a banquet in the honour of Kovind.
The Indian president will also address then membersof Indian diaspora at a reception on July 30 in Cotonou before leaving for the Gambia.