BY SHRI K. R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING
CREDENTIALS FROM MR. SALAH A. K. AL-MUKHTAR, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE
OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, MONDAY, APRIL 12, 1999
It gives me great pleasure
to welcome you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic
of Iraq. I would like to thank you for conveying the greetings of the President
of Iraq, H.E. Mr. Saddam Hussein which I sincerely reciprocate. I extend
to you the warm greetings of the Government and the people of India to the
Government and the people of Iraq and welcome you to your important assignment
in our country.
Your Excellency, we greatly
value the age-old ties of warmth and friendship between India and Iraq.
Our close cultural affinities have helped foster sustained interaction between
the two ancient civilizations from the distant past to the modern times.
Early this century, Indians were actively involved in the construction of
the Iraqi railways. In recent years, Indian companies and Indian experts
have made substantial contributions in the economic development of Iraq,
particularly in sectors such as banking, rural development, education and
public health, which testify to our close and mutually beneficial relations.
The initiatives taken
by us to revive our Joint Commission and enhance economic cooperation will
serve to significantly strengthen our ties. The recent successful visit
of an Indian Parliamentary delegation led by the Speaker was another milestone
in the high level interaction between our two countries.
Your Excellency, I am
confident that with your wide experience you will contribute effectively
towards the expansion and diversification of our bilateral relations. I
assure you that you will receive the fullest co-operation from my Government.
I wish you all success during your tenure in India.