Tuesday, February 13, 2007

India, China to enhance ties through tourism

India, China to unveil new initiatives to cement ties

New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) Seeking to strengthen their ties further, India and China will unveil a number of initiatives, including celebration of 2007 as the 'Year of Friendship through tourism', during the visit of Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing to this country beginning today.

Establishment of a hotline between their Foreign Ministers, increasing air links and easing of visa regimes are also expected to be announced after Li's talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday.

Li, who will be on a three-day visit to India, arrived in Patna where he will visit Nalanda, seat of ancient Buddhist learning.

The two sides will declare 2007 as the 'Year of Friendship through tourism' on Wednesday.

In this regard, detailed programme of events for the year will be outlined, sources said.

Thrust will be on encouraging movement of people between the two neighbours.

In this regard, visa regimes could be eased, the sources said.

The two countries are also expected to announce launch of more direct flights and airlink more cities.

China is also expected to open offices of its travel agents here to facilitate visits by more Indian tourists to that country.

The two countries are also opening consulates in Kolkata and Guangzhou Province, respectively, to enable more people to visit the other country. (Press Trust of India)

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