New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Kenyan President William Ruto at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday. The two leaders will hold discussions on deepening the partnership between India and Kenya.
The two leaders shook hands and warmly greeted each other before heading to hold the meeting.
Taking to X, Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Arindam Bagchi stated, "Reinvigorating - ties! PM @narendramodi welcomed President @WilliamsRuto of Kenya as the latter arrived for bilateral talks in Hyderabad House. Wide-ranging discussions on deepening India-Kenya partnership lie ahead."
Earlier, Kenyan President William Ruto, who is in India on a state visit, paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial at Rajghat in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Taking to X, the Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson stated, "Paying homage to Mahatma. President @WilliamsRuto of Kenya laid a wreath at Rajghat and paid his respects to Mahatma Gandhi."
He was also accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. William Ruto also inspected a Guard of Honour. President Droupadi Murmu and PM Narendra Modi welcomed William Ruto at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
In a post shared on X, Arindam Bagchi stated, "A grand welcome for our honoured guest! President @WilliamsRuto of Kenya warmly received by President Droupadi Murmu @Rashtrapatibhvn and PM @narendramodi in a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan."
Several union ministers including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Earth Sciences Kiren Rijiju were present on the occasion. President Murmu also met the Kenyan delegation led by William Ruto.
Ruto arrived in Delhi on Monday on a state visit to India at the invitation of President Droupadi Murmu. A Presidential visit from Kenya is taking place after over six years, according to Ministry of External Affairs earlier release.
The visit is expected to strengthen and invigorate the bilateral relations between the two countries. On Tuesday evening, a state banquet will be hosted by President Murmu in honour of President Ruto. Ruto, who is accompanied by a high-level official delegation will also participate in a business and investment event in New Delhi.
After receiving a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan, William Ruto said that India and Kenya need to consolidate the relationship and called the two nations "great friends." He noted that the two nations have had diplomatic engagement at different levels since 1948.
Speaking to reporters, Ruto said, "As you are aware, India and Kenya are great friends. We've been we've had diplomatic engagement at different levels from way back in 1948, even before the independence of Kenya. And I have come to India this time around at the invitation of Madam President and my good friend the Prime Minister. And my expectation is that we need to consolidate the relationship between Kenya and India."
Praising India's digital progress, William Ruto said that Kenya has a lot to learn from India. He stated that he had sent Kenya's Minister of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to India to learn about digital ID, digitising government services.
He said, "We are looking at how we can create partnership in the space of rural development, especially agriculture. We'll be looking at a space of how we can share in manufacture of vaccines, both for animals and humans. We're looking at what we can do about genomics. We will be signing an agreement on also the digital space. We have a lot to learn from this great country, especially in the digital space."
"We have already, I did send from Kenya our Ministry of ICT to pick up lessons on digital ID, digitising government services, leveraging on the enabler nature of technology in providing government service, which India has done very well. We will be signing an MoU in that space. We will also be looking at areas of business, what we can do to enhance the business relationship between our two countries," he added.
William Ruto noted that he has a lot in common with PM Modi on what they need to do, particularly about the Global South and on matters related to the reform of the international financial structure. He thanked PM Modi and President Murmu for welcoming him to India.
He said, "I share a lot in common with the Prime Minister of India on what we need to do, especially those of us from the Global South, on matters to do with the reform of the international financial architecture, to make it much more fit for purpose and to ensure that it serves everybody equally and in a balanced and democratised manner. And a lot of other things that we will be discussing this afternoon and this morning with the government of India."
On Monday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called on the Kenyan President. "Honored to call on Kenyan President @WilliamsRuto at the start of his State Visit. Appreciated his perspectives on the concerns of the Global South. Valued his insights for the further strengthening of our bilateral ties," Jaishankar posted on X.
Separately, Bharti Enterprises chairperson Sunil Bharti Mittal also met with Ruto in New Delhi. He highlighted to the President Airtel's enduring relationship with and commitment to the people of Kenya in catalysing the digital economy of the country.
Last week, Kenyan President William Ruto termed his country's ties with India "fantastic" and thanked PM Modi for making sure that the African Union (AU) becomes a permanent member of the G20. He said that India and Kenya have a fantastic bilateral relationship and added that he is looking forward to visiting India.
"India has made a very huge contribution. We want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making sure that Africa became a permanent member of the G20 during his presidency. And we will be having further conversations with him," the Kenyan President told ANI.
"We have a fantastic bilateral relationship and it is my intention that we are going to build on that relationship during my visit to India later...," he added.