New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Secretary (East) Saurabh Kumar on Friday said President Droupadi Murmu will travel to Suriname and Serbia from June 4 to 9, 2023.

The MEA Secretary (East) briefed about the Suriname leg of the President's visit.

He said the President will be in Suriname on a state visit from June 4-6, 2023, at the invitation of Suriname President Chandrikapersad Santokhi.

"This will be her maiden visit to Suriname. Maiden state visit after she assumed the office of President. The visit assumes historical significance as the President will be the chief guest at the 150th-anniversary celebrations of the arrival of Indians in Suriname, which would be celebrated on June 5," the MEA Secretary (East) said during a special briefing on President's visit to Suriname and Serbia.

The President will be accompanied by India's Minister of State in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and Member of Parliament, Shrimati Rama Devi as well as an official delegation. The President will during the visit, hold official talks with Suriname President Santokhi.

Saurabh Kumar during the briefing said the President "will participate in a number of activities to commemorate the arrival of Indians in Suriname and visit the sites associated with their history in that country. The President will also interact with the Indian community."

"The last presidential visit from India to Suriname was that of President COVID in 2018. India, Suriname relations are warm and friendly and acquire special significance on account of the Indian diaspora, which is over 27 per cent of the Suriname population," the MEA Secretary (East) said.

He said India, Suriname's "bilateral relations span sectors such as trade and commerce, development, partnership, capacity building, agriculture and people to people ties. Suriname has been supportive of India in the international fora."

"The Indian diaspora in Suriname acts as a living bridge between the two countries. Despite the passage of time, the diaspora has preserved the customs and traditions it carried from India while adding local flavours."

"The Republic of Suriname's invitation to the President to be the chief guest shows the goodwill that prevails there for India as well as India's growing influence and stature on the global stage," he said.

"The visit of the President also emphasizes the importance we attach to our relations with Suriname and to the Indian diaspora around the world. The visit will add a fresh momentum too and further strengthen India-Suriname bilateral ties," he added.

Meanwhile, MEA Secretary (West) Sanjay Verma during the briefing said: "President Droupadi Murmu will pay a visit to Serbia on June 7 at the invitation of Aleksandar Vucic, President of Serbia. This will be her first State visit after assuming office in July 2022."