Dutch royals visit to boost strategic ties

NEW DELHI: In a visit aimed to further build on the strong Indo-Dutch strategic partnership, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands began their five-day state visit to India, that will focus on areas such as water technology and maritime development, healthcare, sustainable agriculture, social initiatives and cultural heritage.
The Dutch royals, who arrived here on Sunday night, received a traditional welcome at the airport.
They were received by Suresh Angadi Channabasappa, Minister of State for Railways, and India’s Ambassador to the Netherlands Venu Rajamony at the airport.
He also received a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in presence of President Ram Nath Kovind. Willem-Alexander is also accompanied by Queen Maxima. The King and Queen are being accompanied on their visit by a senior ministerial delegation.
“A traditional welcome to our special guests. Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima. @koninklijkhuis arrived for their first State visit to India. Their packed programme in India is intended to further build upon the strong Indo-Dutch strategic partnership,” tweeted MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
Their trip is on the invitation of President Ram Nath Kovind.
On Monday, the royals received a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, after which they went to Raj Ghat to lay the wreath at the ‘’samadhi’’ of Mahatma Gandhi. External Affairs Minster S Jaishankar called on them at The Oberoi.
“Building upon the strategic trust. EAM @DrSJaishankar called upon HM King Willem-Alexander and HM Queen Maxima @koninklijkhuis of the Netherlands and had fruitful discussions on expanding our relationship,” tweeted Kumar on the meeting between Jaishankar and the royals.
“Special guests welcomed by @rashtrapatibhvn in its special way. #PresidentKovind and PM @narendramodi extended a ceremonial welcome to HM Willem-Alexander and HM Queen Maxima @koninklijkhuis. Centuries old Indo-Dutch ties have been nurtured through engagements at highest level,” he tweeted on the ceremonial welcome.”
Later, the King of Netherlands Willem-Alexander also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national capital. After the official programme in Delhi, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will also visit Mumbai from Wednesday and reach Kerala on Thursday. The royal couple will head home on Friday.
India and the Netherlands have a bilateral trade turnover of $12.87 billion (2018-2019).
The Netherlands is the fifth largest investor in India with a cumulative investment of $23 billion for the period 2000 to December 2017, the MEA said.
The Dutch Royal couple will also attend the Inaugural Session of 25th Technology Summit in New Delhi on Tuesday. The Netherlands is the partner country for this summit.
The Royal couple would be accompanied by about 140 business houses for this technology and innovation fair, representing various sectors, including agriculture, water, health-care and climate change.
The visit is expected to boost economic and political cooperation between India and the Netherlands, the MEA said. — IANS