Malabo (E Guinea), Apr 8 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind has arrived in the capital of Equatorial Guinea on the first ever visit by an Indian head of state to the African nation.

Kovind today met his Equatorial Guinean counterpart Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the Presidential Palace in Malabo.

He was also conferred with the ‘Condecoracion’, the highest honour accorded to a non-citizen by the government of Equatorial Guinea, and previously given to select heads of state.

Yesterday, the president was received at the Malabo airport by Obiang along with his Cabinet colleagues and other dignitaries.

Kovind is on the first leg of a state visit to three African nations Equatorial Guinea, Swaziland and Zambia.

Kovind said Obiang has played a key role in African affairs to promote stability in the continent.

He also commended Obiang on Equatorial Guinea achieving the highest per capita GDP for any country in Africa.

He stated that India is ready to partner Equatorial Guinea which is diversifying its economy and reducing its dependence on oil and gas exports.

Subsequently, the president led delegation-level talks.

Kovind said the two countries have enjoyed warm and cordial relations and India attaches the highest importance to its relationship with Equatorial Guinea.

“It is in that spirit that the government of India has decided to open an embassy in Equatorial Guinea. This will give a major boost to our relations,” he said.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.