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What the PM will do in Germany and Uzbekistan

April 20, 2006 20:36 IST

"This is the year of India in Germany," declared Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs Shashi U Tripathi at a joint press briefing on Thursday ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visit to Germany and Uzbekistan on Saturday.

She shared the dais with Secretary (East) Rajiv Sikri, who subsequently briefed the media about Dr Singh's trip to Uzbekistan.

"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will be in Germany from 23 to 25 April to ostensibly inaugurate the Hanover trade fair, where he is the chief guest, and where India is partner country," said Tripathi.

Answering questions, Tripathi said that given the strategic relations India and Germany shared, the nuclear deal being negotiated with the US and the standoff over Iran would also be discussed at the summit meeting.

The special aircraft with the prime minister, his key aides, a large trade delegation and a media team will leave New Delhi's Palam airport on Saturday noon to arrive at 4 pm local time in Hanover.

On April 23, he will inaugurate the Hanover trade fair with the new German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and then hold a summit meeting with her as part of the annual dialogue between the two nations.

On April 24, he will fly to the capital Berlin, where he will meet with President German President Horst Kohler, senior business leaders and members of the small Indian community there, and later attend an official banquet held in his honor.

The same evening, he will leave for Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, on another state visit, the second by an Indian prime minister after PV Narasimha Rao's visit in May 1993.

After a ceremonial reception the next morning, he will hold a summit meeting with President Ismail Karimov, and then inaugurate the Jawaharlal Nehru center for Information technology, which is financed by India.

He is expected to also meet some Indologists and Indian businessmen there before leaving for New Delhi on April 25 evening, and the special aircraft is expected to land shortly before midnight April 26.

Ramananda Sengupta in New Delhi