Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached South Korean capital Seoul early this morning for a two-day visit aimed at strengthening the special strategic partnership between the two nations. PM Modi's visit also aims at bolstering bilateral trade and cultural ties.
This is Prime Minister Modi's second visit to the Republic of Korea after his state visit in May 2015. He is visiting South Korea at the invitation of President Moon Jae-in.
Shortly before leaving for Seoul, PM Modi said India considers South Korea as a valued friend with who New Delhi shares a special strategic partnership.
This evening, I will be leaving for the Republic of Korea at the invitation of President @moonriver365.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 20, 2019
We regard the Republic of Korea as a valued friend with which we have a Special Strategic Partnership.
The visit will boost bilateral cooperation. https://t.co/HTIdz1eQwq
According to foreign ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, during this visit the prime minister is scheduled to have bilateral and business engagements, unveil a bust of Mahatma Gandhi and accept the Seoul Peace Prize awarded to him. He will also address the Indian community.
Raveesh Kumar further said that this visit will strengthen India's special strategic partnership with South Korea and will introduce a new dimension in India's 'Act East Policy'.
"My visit to the Republic of Korea is reflective of the importance we both attach to our relationship," Prime Minister Modi said before his visit, adding, "We regard the Republic of Korea as a valued friend, a nation with which we have a Special Strategic Partnership. As fellow democracies, India and the ROK have shared values and a shared vision for regional and global peace. As fellow market economies, our needs and strengths are complementary."
Before leaving New Delhi, the prime minister also tweeted: "During our talks, President @moonriver365 and I will take forward our conversations from last year on how best to advance the India-ROK partnership. I will also meet business leaders, the Indian community as well as eminent persons from all walks of life."
During our talks, President @moonriver365 and I will take forward our conversations from last year on how best to advance the India-ROK partnership.- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 20, 2019
I will also meet business leaders, the Indian community as well as eminent persons from all walks of life.
Prime Minister Modi will have extensive bilateral talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, after which agreements (MoUs) will be signed.
Upon his arrival this morning, PM Modi was greeted by a large gathering of Indians at the hotel lobby. They waived the Indian flag and took selfies with the prime minister.
During the two-day visit, PM Modi will receive the Seoul Peace Prize, which was announced by the Seoul Peace Prize Cultural Foundation in October last year in recognition of his dedicated service to international cooperation, global growth and human development.
"The growing depth and variety in our relationship have been accentuated by the harmony between our 'Act East Policy' and ROK's 'New Southern Policy'. Working together, we are determined to take our relationship forward as a future-oriented partnership for People, Prosperity and Peace," PM Modi said.
The prime minister also said that "Our people to people ties and exchanges, as always, provide the bedrock of our ties of friendship."
"Our collaboration in the field of science and technology is encouraging, with our joint research ranging from basic to advanced sciences," he added.
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