KATHMANDU, Princess Astrid of Belgium arrived in Kathmandu on a week-long visit to Nepal on Sunday.
State Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supply Moti Dugad welcomed Princess Astrid at the Tribhuvan International Airport upon her arrival earlier today.
This is the first visit of a Belgian royal to Nepal after 1998. King Albert II had paid a private visit to Nepal during the eighties. Likewise, King Philippe, the then Crown Prince, paid an unofficial visit to Nepal in 1998.
In its press release, MoFA stated that Princess Astrid, the younger sister of King of Belgium will be here till Jan 25.
She is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Tuesday.
She will have separate meetings with the Ishwar Pokhrel, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal, Minister for Health and Population.
Princess Astrid will also be visiting Kailai, Nawalparasi and Chitawan districts, according to MoFA. In Kailali, she will join the opening ceremony of a new Tuberculosis Centre and meet with the leprosy and tuberculosis affected people. She will visit the Midpoint Hospital at Nawalparasi, which is a provincial reference center for MDR tuberculosis and leprosy.
The aforementioned health facilities have been supported by the Damien Foundation, a Belgium-based NGO with Princess as the honorary chairperson. She has also been active in anti-landmine campaign as the Special Envoy for the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction.
"This visit will contribute to further strengthening the bilateral relations and expanding the areas of cooperation between Nepal and Belgium," the MoFA stated in the press release.