India’s Ministry of External Affairs have announced on that President Ram Nath Kovind will pay a state visit to Jamaica and St Vincent and Grenadines, from May 15-21. In a statement, the ministry said that this will be the first-ever visit by an Indian head of state to these countries.

Kovind will be in Jamaica from May 15-18, during which he will hold “delegation-level talks” with his Jamaican counterpart, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen.

He will also meet Prime Minister Andrew Holness and other dignitaries and will address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Jamaican Parliament, the ministry said.

“​Jamaica and India have friendly relations. Jamaica is also one of the Girmitya countries with a 70,000-strong Indian Diaspora, who act as a living bridge with India,” the statement said.

“The visit comes at a significant milestone, as 2022 is the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Jamaica,” it added. “Furthermore, India and Jamaica are celebrating 75th and 60th anniversary of their independence, respectively.”

Kovind will also pay a state visit to St Vincent and the Grenadines, from May 18-21, during which he will hold discussions with his Vincentian counterpart, Governor General Susan Dougan. The Indian President will also meet Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, as well as other dignitaries, and will address the House of Assembly.

“​St Vincent and the Grenadines is an important partner of India. India and St Vincent and the Grenadines were both non-permanent members of the UNSC (United Nations Security Council) in 2021 and shared good cooperation during this period,” the Indian External Affairs Ministry said.

“​Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines are active members in the Caribbean Community (Caricom),” it added. “The first-ever head of state visit to these countries is a continuation of India’s high-level engagement with the countries in the Caribbean region and emphasises our continued commitment to work with small island developing countries.”