King Taufa Ahau Tupou and Queen Mata'aho of Tonga received a warm and colourful welcome when they arrived at New Delhi airport on Wednesday (18 February) to begin a six-day State visit to India.
GV King of Tonga down aircraft steps and greeted by officials and Mrs Gandhi.
GV official party across tarmac
GV King of Tonga greeting officials in airport terminal and being presented with flowers
GV King of Tonga into car and car drives off (2 shots)
GV Presidential Palace.
GV King and Mrs Gandhi seated inside (2 shots)
King Taufa Ahau Tupou and Queen Mata 'aho of Tonga received a warm and colourful welcome when they arrived at New Delhi Airport on Wednesday.
The King and his six member party are on a State visit to India and they were met by India's President Fakhruddin Ahmed and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on their arrival.
After greetings had been exchanged the King and Queen adjourned to the airport terminal for an official reception.
Tonga, which gained independence in 1971, is a South Pacific Island group with a population of about 70,000.
The King and Queen were presented with garland and bouquets of flowers at the reception.... a custom they are both well used to.
Once the airport ceremonies were over, the serious side of the tour began.
After changing, the King held two rounds of talks....one with President Ahmed...the other with Mrs Gandhi.
Both discussions took place at the Presidential Palace and President Ahmed welcomed King Tauff as an "enlightened South Pacific leader, from a region where new nations are emerging ready to play their role in the interest of peace, stability and progress".
King Taufa spoke about the friendly ties between the two countries and said his country was "profoundly grateful" for the "great deal of help the Indian Government and people" had given it
Initials RH/1655 RH/GB/MC/1705
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Background: King Taufa Ahau Tupou and Queen Mata'aho of Tonga received a warm and colourful welcome when they arrived at New Delhi airport on Wednesday (18 February) to begin a six-day State visit to India.
India's Prime Minister India Gandhi, President Fakhruddin Ahmed and several senior Cabinet Ministers were on hand to greet the South Pacific monarchs.
The King and Queen were presented with garlands and bouquets before adjourning to the airport terminal and an official reception.
Later on Wednesday the King began the business side of his tour with meetings at India's Presidential Palace.
The first round of talks was with President Ahmed, and then King Taufa held discussions with Mrs Gandhi.
During his visit, King Taufa will concentrate on strengthening ties between Tonga and India.