Erich Honecker, Chairman of the German Democratic republic's Council of State, headed a large delegation on a five day state visit to India which began on Monday (8 January).
Erich Honecker, Chairman of the German Democratic republic's Council of State, headed a large delegation on a five day state visit to India which began on Monday (8 January). It was expected that the visit would result in closer scientific, economic and technical co-operation between the two countries.
SYNOPSIS: When Mr honecker arrived at Delhi's Palam airport at the head of a 150 member delegation he was welcomed by India's President Sanjiva Reddy, Prime Minister Morarji Desai and the Cabinet. It was the first visit to India by an East German Head of State. Mr Honecker was accompanied by Prime Minister Willie Stoph, Foreign Minister Oskar Fischer, and a contingent of 30 journalists. He was accorded a Guard of Honour.
During his visit, Mr Honecker was expected to co-sign long-term agreements with India on economic co-operation and shipping services. Thee has been a shipping agreement between the two nations since 1969, but the leaders planned to discuss new proposals for cargo sharing and facilities for ships of both flags.
First the GDR leader went to the Raj Ghat Memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, to lay a wreath.
A mounted escort of the Indian President's Mounted Body Guard led the presidential limousine to the memorial for the ceremony.
Mr Honecker said about his visit, that he was in India to consult and to explore even more effective ways of pursuing efforts to maintain world peace. He expressed confidence that his talks with the Indian leaders would enhance under-standing and give fresh impetus to relations at all levels.
When Mr Honecker attended a reception in his honour on the first evening of his visit, he was greeted by Mr Desai. An East German government member said the visit is the climax in history of ties of friendship and co-operation between the two countries.