Abe arrives in Varanasi to a red carpet welcome

Varanasi, Dec 12 (IANS) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Varanasi to a red carpet welcome on Saturday evening.

Accompanied by his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on a special Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft, Abe, who waved as he alighted, was received by Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Yadav offered a bouquet and a shawl to both Abe and Modi. While Modi passed on the shawl to his SPG security personnel, Abe continued to wear it around his neck. Chief Secretary Alok Ranjan and other officials were also present at the Babatpur airport.

The two prime ministers then walked down the red carpet to a traditional welcome comprising Buddhist monks, Kathak dancers, and drum-beating artistes. Later Abe drove into his armoured car to the Taj Gateway hotel in Nadesar even as Modi was seen chatting with the governor, chief minister and the city mayor.

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