Indian President Ram Nath Kovind. (Photo: Newsnation)

Hanoi (VNA) - Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and his spouse Savita Kovind on November 18 began a three-day visit to Vietnam at the invitation of President Nguyen Phu Trong.

This is the first State visit to Vietnam by President Kovind, and also his first trip to Asia since he took office in July 2017.

It holds significance in consolidating and developing the thriving Vietnam-India comprehensive strategic partnership.

While in Vietnam, President Kovind is scheduled to meet leaders of the central city of Da Nang and visit the world cultural heritage My Son in the central province of Quang Nam, said Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau at a press conference held by the Vietnamese Embassy on November 15.

In Hanoi on November 20, the President will hold talks with General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and President Nguyen Phu Trong, and meet National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. 

He will also deliver a speech at Vietnam’s legislature, becoming the second foreign leader to address the Vietnamese NA, after Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

Vietnam and India set up their diplomatic ties on January 7, 1972. In 2007, the Vietnam-India relationship was lifted to strategic partnership level, with a focus on politics-diplomacy, national defence-security, economy-trade, energy, science-technology and culture-education.

Following the Vietnam’s visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2016, both sides upgraded their strategic partnership to a comprehensive strategic partnership to meet demand in the new situation. 

In March this year, then President Tran Dai Quang and his spouse paid a State visit to India. The visit helped materialise contents of the Vietnam-India comprehensive strategic partnership while strengthening the bilateral relationship.-VNA