Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik met with Pope Francis in Vatican City. He tweeted that meeting His Holiness Pope Francis has been an absolute pleasure. The Odisha CM thanked the Catholic leader for a "warm audience" and wished him "good health and a long life".
He is leading a high-level delegation to Rome and Dubai. The team is set to visit the World Food Programme (WFP) headquarters in Rome in order to share Odisha's "transformational journey" in food security and disaster management. The humanitarian organisation is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.
The Odisha CM on Tuesday paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the MG Memorial Statue at the Piazza Gandhi in the city. He said the ideals and principles of Gandhi inspires him. Upon arriving in Italy for his 11-day official trip, he met with Indian Ambassador Neena Malhotra.
He will meet UN World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley and other senior officials to discuss the state's partnership with the association and will plan for future projects and collaborations.
The 75-year-old leader also has plans to meet with the Odia community in Europe. "He will also meet the Odia diaspora from various parts of Europe and discuss ways to engage the NRIs in promoting Odisha's art and culture and also be a partner in the state's transformational journey," said a statement from his office.
On the way back from Rome, the delegation is scheduled to meet with investors from the Middle East and adjoining regions in Dubai. CM Patnaik will have one-on-one meetings with prominent investors. The delegation will also be present in the meetings, reported ANI.
A statement from the Odisha government said the chief minister will extend an invitation to the potential investors to come and invest in Odisha and assure them all the support and facilitation by the State Government."
"He will also meet with Odia diaspora from the Middle East in Dubai and discuss with them Odisha's transformational journey over the last two decades and invite them to partner with the state government," said the statement.