President Murmu’s State visit to Suriname and Serbia reaffirmed India’s strong relations with these two countries
President Droupadi Murmu returned to India on Saturday after concluding her six-day visit to Suriname and Serbia during which she held wide-ranging talks with top leaders and affirmed India’s strong bilateral relations with the two countries.

President Murmu landed in Suriname on June 4 on a three-day visit—her first since assuming office in July 2022. She held delegation level talks with Suriname counterpart Chandrikapersad Santokhi and discussed ways to deepen cooperation in several areas including defence, agriculture, IT and capacity building. India and Suriname also exchanged four MoUs in various fields including health and agriculture.

From Suriname, President Murmu arrived in Serbia on June 7 for the second and final leg of her visit at the invitation of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić. This was her first visit to Europe, and the first-ever visit by a Head of State of either country.

In Serbia, President Murmu held bilateral talks with President Aleksandar Vučić on issues related to defence and military-tech cooperation, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, industrial cooperation, information technology, AI, and cultural cooperation, including film production and cinematography.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, during talks with the visiting President of India, Serbian President Vučić was joined by eight Ministers (Defence; Agriculture; Culture; Health; Mining & Energy; Construction, Transport & Infrastructure; Trade; and Tourism & Youth) from his government.

President Vučić expressed his condolences for the loss of lives in the tragic train accident in Odisha. He reiterated Serbia’s stand on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of nations, the MEA said.

Earlier, upon arrival in Serbia, President Murmu paid floral tributes at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Belgrade.

She interacted with the Indian community and friends of India. In her address, she highlighted the emergence of India as an economic power and the myriad of opportunities that it offers and called upon them to contribute positively towards strengthening India-Serbia relationship.

On June 8, 2023, President Murmu’s engagement started with a ceremonial Guard of Honour at Serbia Palace, followed by restricted-level talks, bilateral delegation-level talks, joint-address to the media, address to a joint business event, laying of a wreath at the ‘Monument to the Unknown Hero’, atop Mount Avala.

Speaker of the National Assembly of Serbia Dr. Vladimir Orlić called on President Murmu and during the meeting, he highlighted the need for exchange of parliamentarians.

Prime Minister of Serbia Ana Brnabić hosted a luncheon in honour ofPresident Murmu, during which discussions revolved around potential cooperation in trade, economic, tourism, and culture. She showed keen interest in digitalization and cyber security. President Vučić hosted a dinner banquet in honour of President Murmu at his palace residence on the same day.