|SPEECH BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING CREDENTIALS FROM MR. JOSE ELOY VALDES ESPINOSA, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA
NEW DELHI, APRIL 30, 2001
am delighted to welcome you to India as the Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cuba.
separated by great physical distance, India and Cuba are closely linked
through long ties of friendship, solidarity and mutual co-operation. It
is a matter of great satisfaction to us that since 1960, when the two
countries established diplomatic ties, India and Cuba have shared close
and cordial relations and engaged in mutually beneficial co-operation.
developing world, to which we both belong, faces great challenges, which
require imaginative and equitable solutions. India and Cuba could together
contribute substantially towards finding appropriate responses to these
challenges. We are both committed to the use of peaceful means for the
settlement of international disputes and recognise the need for a more
equitable and just international economic order. Our two countries have
been strong upholders of the UN Charter and have worked closely with each
other in the United Nations and other multilateral fora like the Non-Aligned
Movement and Group of 77. His Excellency President Fidel Castro, in particular,
has a special place in our heart, given his historic championship of non-aligned
causes and the warm feelings that he has always demonstrated towards India.
am happy to note that our two countries have been co-operating with each
other in the international fora on issues vital to the developing nations.
As Your Excellency is aware, India has consistently opposed resolutions
in the Human Rights Commission directed specifically against Cuba. We
have general been against critical country-specific resolutions in international
fora. India has also been opposed, in principle, to the imposition of
unilateral economic sanctions by one country against another and have
voted in favour of lifting the embargo on Cuba.
am happy to note that India and Cuba have been actively co-operating in
important fields such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, agriculture and
non-conventional energy sources to the mutual advantage of their peoples.
We are happy to note that since 1994-95, we have been allocating 20 training
slots in various fields to Cuba under the Indian Technical and Economic
Co-operation (ITEC) programme and that several persons from your country
have benefited from this. Indo-Cuban trade is yet to reach its full potential
and I am sure that Your Excellency can play a constructive role in removing
the bottlenecks in the promotion of greater Indo-Cuban economic co-operation.
take this opportunity, Excellency, to assure you of my Government’s full
support and co-operation in the proper discharge of your duties in India.
I am confident that Indo-Cuban relations will be further strengthened
and expanded during your tenure in India. I also wish Your Excellency
all success and personal happiness during your stay here.
would further like to avail of this opportunity to convey through you,
to His Excellency President Fidel Castro Ruz, our most warm and cordial
greetings and our very best wishes for the progress and prosperity of
the friendly people of Cuba.