Indian president to visit PH next week

MANILA — The Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday confirmed that Indian President Ram Nath Kovind is slated to undertake a state visit to the Philippines from October 17 to 21 at the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“The state visit marks an important milestone in the Philippine-India bilateral relations as both countries commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year,” it said in a statement.

During Kovind’s Manila visit, he and Duterte will hold a bilateral meeting on October 18 to discuss areas of mutual interest, including political, economic, cultural, and people-to-people engagement.

On the sidelines of the visit, Kovind is expected to meet with members of the Indian community in the Philippines and the Filipino beneficiaries of the Mahaveer Philippine Foundation, Inc.

Kovind would be the third Indian leader to make a state visit to the Philippines since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1949.

Last year, Duterte visited India, during which he invited the South Asian country to make the Philippines its manufacturing hub for key medicines, particularly those for cancer and the human immunodeficiency virus, as well as drugs for diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases.

In a previous interview, Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar said Philippine-Indian relations have been stronger since 1949.  Joyce Ann L. Rocamora / PNA –