Special Correspondent

To visit Greece also as part of his four-day trip abroad

  • India to sign three agreements with Greece
  • Kalam to deliver lecture at Strasbourg space university

    NEW DELHI: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will address the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, the first ever by an Indian President to the largest union of democratic States in the world.

    Mr. Kalam begins a four-day foreign trip on Tuesday that will also take him to Greece. The visit to Greece comes after a gap of 21 years amidst rising hopes of consolidating New Delhi's relations with Athens in a cross sectoral manner. On arrival, he will meet his counterpart Karolos Papoulias.

    The President's address at Strasbourg will be on "Dynamics of Unity of Nations." His visit to Strasbourg follows an invitation from the former President of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell Fontelles.

    He will also deliver a lecture on "Creative Leadership for Future Challenges in Space" at the International Space University in Strasbourg. The European Union (EU) has 27 members and is increasingly becoming multi-cultural, multi-linguistic, multi-ethnic and multi-religious.

    Ties with Greece

    On the Greece visit, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Nalin Surie said: "Our bilateral relations have traditionally been warm and friendly. Greece has been supporting India's interests on a variety of regional and international issues. Greece is also an important member of the EU with which India has a strategic partnership."

    Mr. Surie told presspersons that three important agreements relating to bilateral investment promotion and protection, science and technology and between foreign service institutes of India and Greece would be signed during Mr. Kalam's visit.

    Public speeches

    The President will make two public speeches in Greece one at the well-known think tank, the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, on the "Dynamics of Peace and Prosperity" and the other at the National Council for Scientific Research on "Convergence of Technologies."

    He will also visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery and pay tributes to the Indian soldiers, who lost their lives in World War II. A visit has been scheduled for Friday to the Rehabilitation Centre for Children with Cerebral Palsy, a concern known to be very close to Mr. Kalam.

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