Sir Seretse Khama, President of Botswana, and his wife, arrived in New Delhi on Sunday (4 April).
Sir Seretse Khama, President of Botswana, and his wife, arrived in New Delhi on Sunday (4 April). They were starting a nine-day official visit.
A 21 gun salute was given as President Khama left hi aircraft and was greeted by the President of India, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, and his wife.
Also at the airport were Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi, members of the Cabinet and the three heads of India's armed forces.
President Khama made a short statement at the airport. He thanked the Indian people for what he called their "unfailing commitment" to the struggle for freedom in Southern Africa. President Ahmed said that he looked forward to hearing about the events taking place in President Khama's part of Africa.
Botswana is the only black African country that still allows Rhodesia to transport goods through its land. They are on the railway route between Rhodesia and South Africa. A Canadian survey has estimated that it would cost the Botswana government 27 million pounds sterling to nationalise the railway line and impose full United Nations' sanctions against Rhodesia.
After leaving the airport, President and Lady Khama went to the Indian President's residence, where they will be staying during their visit.
SYNOPSIS: A colourful welcome awaited Botswana's President Seretse Khama when he arrived in India. At the airport, India's President Ahmed, his wife, and Prime Minister Gandhi greeted President Khama as he left his plane. The President is on a nine-day visit to India and is accompanied by his wife, Lady Khama. In a statement, he thanked the Indian people for what he called their 'unfailing commitment' to the black nationalist movements in Southern Africa.
A 21-gun salute greeted the arrival of the President and his wife.
India's President, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, said that the looked forward to discussing the recent events in Southern Africa with the Botswana President.
Late in the day, President Khama - staying at the India President's Palace in New Delhi - met with Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
Botswana is the only black African nation that still allows Rhodesia to transport goods through its country. A railway line passes from Rhodesia, through Botswana, to South Africa. This has been a major export route for Mr. Ian Smith's regime since Rhodesia's border with Mozambique was closed.
A survey of the railway line estimated that to nationalise it and impose full United Nations' sanctions on Rhodesia would cost Botswana 27 million sterling. For this, Botswana would need major international aid.