Belarus President given ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan

New Delhi, Apr 16 : Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko was accorded a ceremonial reception in the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

Thereafter, Lukashenko laid a floral wreath at Rajghat, the memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi.

On the first day of his visit, Lukashenko will meet External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Then, he will meet Vice President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat.

Later in the day, Lukashenko will meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and will review bilateral relations and discuss issues of international and mutual interest.

Several bilateral agreements are expected to be signed in the areas of science and technology, agriculture and extradition. A bilateral protocol on the accession of Belarus to the WTO is also expected to be signed.

The focus of his discussions will be to boost scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries.

Lukashenko will also meet President A P J Abdul Kalam in the evening.

Lukashenko is accompanied by a high level delegation consisting of Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Martynov, Minister of Interior Vladimir Naumov, Minister of Industry Anatoly Rusetsky, Minister of Justice Viktor Golovanov, Minister of Taxation Anna Deiko, Chairman of State Military and Industrial Committee Nikolai Azamatov, Chairman of State Committee for Science and Technology Vladimir Matyushkov and National Security Advisor Victor Lukashenko.

Lukashenko had earlier paid a state visit to India in 1997.