International Affairs



I have great pleasure in welcoming you to India and in accepting the Letter of Credence from His Majesty, King Juan Carlos I of Spain accrediting you as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Spain to India.

Relations between Spain and India go back in history when there were contacts, particularly in the areas of trade and commerce and extensive cultural exchanges, despite the constraints posed by geographical distance. Our two countries have been enriched as a consequence of these contacts which have left their indelible imprint and created lasting affinities. Perhaps our interaction would have been even closer if Christopher Columbus, who had set out to seek a new sea route to India, had not stumbled upon a new continent on his way.

The fables of the Panchatantra found their way into Spanish literature as far back as in the 13th Century, during the rule of Alfonso X. In this century, the special relationship that flowered between two of the most famous poets of our times, the Spanish poet, Juan Ramon Jimenez and Rabindranath Tagore, resulted in a literary relationship that endures to this day.

We are happy that interactions between our two countries in the fields of the arts, culture and academia continues through the medium of the Indo-Spanish Cultural Exchange Programme. A number of Indian students and university professors are benefiting from the opportunities offered by this Programme. We hope to encourage an equal level of enthusiasm in Spanish academic circles towards Indian languages and cultural studies. There must be many scholars in Spain who echo the poet Jimenez's aphorism: "An Easterner and a Westerner I am, Alas! For me there is no way out!"

We have in recent years, witnessed a growth in trade and economic relations between our two countries. There is, however, considerable scope for enhancing cooperation even further in these areas. The Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed during the Crown Prince's visit last year is a step in this direction. Ample opportunities exist for augmenting bilateral trade and investment. I am confident, Mr. Ambassador, that your efforts will provide a catalytic boost that will help us achieve the full potential of economic cooperation between our two countries.

We value the special affection, which the Spanish Royal family has for India. We have particularly pleasant memories of the State Visit of Their Majesties to India in 1982. The presence of the Crown Prince in India for the inauguration of "EXPOTECNIA - 97" was, we appreciate, a special gesture. We are privileged to have this linkage which provides a unique quality to our bilateral relationship.

Spain's membership of the European Union also constitutes an important dimension of the relationship between our two countries. The European Union is India's largest trade, investment and technology partner. We are confident that partnership and cooperation between India and the European Union in both political and economic fields will continue to grow. We look forward to working with Spain in this regard.

Both India and Spain are committed to the principles of democracy and individual freedoms under the rule of law. These affinities have enabled us to build a relationship based on mutual trust, goodwill and cooperation. Mr. Ambassador, this year marks the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and India. I am sure that our two countries will continue to work together, on the basis of shared values, for the benefit of our two peoples and for a peaceful and equitable world order in the 21st Century.

I wish you, Mr. Ambassador, a successful tenure in India and assure you of the full cooperation of my Government in the performance of your duties.

Thank you

Jai Hind