External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will undertake a four-day visit to Bulgaria, Morocco and Spain from February 16, the ministry said Thursday. In the first leg of her visit, Swaraj will be in Bulgaria on February 16 and February 17. The visit is a follow-up to the state visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to Bulgaria in September last year. This is the first ever visit of an Indian external affairs minister to Bulgaria, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
During the visit, Swaraj will meet with the deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Bulgaria. The two leaders will discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.
She will pay floral tributes at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi at the South Park in Sofia. The statue was unveiled last year by President Kovind along with his Bulgarian counterpart Rumen Radev to mark the celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.
She will also interact with the Indian community and Friends of India in Sofia during the visit. In the second leg of her tour, she will visit Kingdom of Morocco from February 17-18.
The visit is in “pursuit of India’s objective of enhanced engagement with the Kingdom and will provide an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions on bilateral, regional and global issues”, the MEA statement said.
In Morocco, she will interact with her counterpart Nasser Bourita. She will also call on King Mohammed VI, King of Morocco, Saad Dine El Otmani, Head of Government, and Habib El Malki, President of the Chamber of Representatives, Parliament.
Three MoUs for cooperation in the areas of counter terrorism, housing and human settlements and youth matters are expected for signing during the visit. During her visit, she will also interact with the Indian community in Rabat.
Swaraj will be in Spain from 18-19 February. She will hold a bilateral meeting with her counterpart Josep Borrell Fontelles to discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual concern.
The Spanish government will also confer upon Swaraj the prestigious Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit by the Spanish Government for India’s swift response through Operation Maitri in rescuing 71 Spanish nationals from Nepal in April 2015 in the wake of the disastrous earthquake.
Swaraj will also interact with the Indian Community in Spain.