BY SHRI K.R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING THE CRENDENTIALS
FROM MR. KIDENG THAMMAVONG, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE OF LAO
PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, THURSDAY,
AUGUST 27, 1998
I am very pleased to
receive from His Excellency President Khamtay Siphandone the Letter of Credence
accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Lao
People's Democratic Republic to the Republic of India. I appreciate the
kind sentiments expressed by His Excellency and extend to him my warmest
regards and best wishes for the good health and well-being of His Excellency
and for the continued progress, prosperity and welfare of the friendly Lao
people. I would also like to extend to you a very warm and cordial welcome
India and Laos share
traditional links, going way back in history and draw inspiration from shared
values and strong cultural bonds. It is a matter of great satisfaction that
our relations continue to flourish, based as they are on sound principles
of mutual understanding and cooperation. Economic cooperation between our
two countries has been guided by the spirit of South-South cooperation.
We look forward to further sharing our technical expertise and experience
in relevant areas with Laos. I am confident that in the coming years our
relations will attain further vibrancy and diversification.
Excellency, India and
Laos have been following similar policies on international and global issues
as partners in the Non-aligned Movement as well as other fora representing
the interest of developing countries. We appreciate the support given by
the Lao People's Democratic Republic on issues important to us. We were
also privileged to have the opportunity to participate as Chairman in the
International Control Commission in Laos at a critical period in your history.
Being Asian neighbours, it will be our endeavour to constantly work towards
achieving overall prosperity for our two peoples through ever expanding
political and economic relations.
India values its ties
with ASEAN. Since becoming a Full Dialogue Partner in 1996 another dimension
has been added to our ever expanding links after Laos became a member of
ASEAN. We believe that our partnership with ASEAN and other regional fora
would strengthen the economic and strategic objectives of ASEAN and of the
Asia Pacific region as a whole. India is also keen to play a constructive
role in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) as it has a fundamental interest
in the security of this region.
received fresh impetus with the official visit of H.E. Mr Khamtay Siphandone,
the then Prime Minister of your country to India in May 1997. Pursuant to
that visit the First Meeting of the India-Lao Joint Commission was held
in New Delhi in July 1997 wherein the two governments at ministerial level
discussed several ways of revitalising our relationship by introducing new
economic content, especially in agriculture, mining, infrastructure, bilateral
trade and human resources development. As India and Laos become closer through
interaction at various levels, I am sure bilateral trade between our two
countries would also achieve rapid growth commensurate with its potential.
Your Excellency, I appreciate
the commitment you have indicated for further strengthening the friendship
between our two countries. I have no doubt that with your wide-ranging experience,
you will be able to contribute significantly to enhance the understanding
and cooperation between India and Laos. In welcoming you to India, I would
like to assure you that you will receive the full cooperation of my Government
in the fulfillment of your mission. I wish you a successful tenure of office
and a pleasant and comfortable stay in India.