Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny was given a warm welcome by Indians at New Delhi on Friday (1 October) when he arrived for a one day visit while on route for Hanoi.
Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny was given a warm welcome by Indians at New Delhi on Friday (1 October) when he arrived for a one day visit while on route for Hanoi. He was greeted by Indian President V.V. Giri, and received garlands presented by representatives of India's ruling Congress Party and the pro-Moscow Communist Party.
Mr. Podgorny made no statement at the airport, but later, speaking at a banquet held in his honour at the Presidential Palace, he said that the Soviet Union would be prepared to give all possible assistance to achieve an equitable political settlement in East pakistan. He also stated that further sliding towards a military conflict between India and Pakistan should be stopped, and tension on the Indian sub-continent should be prevented by a military settlement.
Earlier, Mr. podgorny had held talks lasting over an hour with Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi. His one-day visit comes shortly after Mrs. Gandhi's official visit to the Soviet Union.
SYNOPSIS: A warm welcome awaited Soviet President Podgorny when he arrived at New Delhi airport on Friday. He was stopping for a one day visit while on route for Hanoi. On the tarmac to greet Mr. Podgorny was the Indian President, Mr. V.V. Giri, and large crowds carrying welcome banners.
With President Giri were the Indian Tourism and Aviation Minister, Mr. Karan Singh, members of the Indian foreign ministry, Russian Embassy staff, and representatives of Eastern European Communist nations. Outside the airport, several hundred people demonstrated in support of the Bangladesh fighters of East Pakistan, and called for friendship from the Soviets.
The President's stop in India comes shortly after Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi's official visit to the Soviet Union. Her visit followed in the wake of the recently signed Indo-Soviet treaty of peace, co-operation and friendship. Political observers report that Mr. Podgorny's stopover might also serve as a way in which India could associate herself with any initiative the Soviets might take in North Vietnam.
After his arrival, Mr. Podgorny went to the Presidential Palace for informal talks with Mr. Giri. Later, speaking at a banquet, he referred to the East Pakistan crisis and the tension between India and Pakistan. The Soviet Union, he said, was seeking to render all possible assistance in formulating an equitable political settlement. He was replying to a speech from Mr. Giri, who said that East Pakistan refugees in India should be allowed to return home.
Earlier, Mr. Podgorny held talks lasting over an hour with Mrs. Gandhi. She is believed to have stressed the need for an Urgent settlement in East Pakistan.