International Affairs



It gives me great pleasure to accept your Credentials as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Czech Republic to India. I welcome you to India and extend my warm felicitations on your appointment to this important position.Our bilateral relations go back to a period of history when both societies were striving to regain control over their destinies. The initial contacts were made by the leading intellectuals of that time and were reflected in the deep interest taken by scholars in each other’s languages, history and culture. Our national poet, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, perhaps did most to bring to our countrymen the richness of your heritage.

India’s relations with the Czech Republic have traditionally been warm, close and friendly and are based on values of freedom, dignity of the individual and respect for diversity and pluralism. Exchange of visits between our two countries has been regular and at various levels. Important recent landmarks in this area have been the visit by President Vaclav Havel to India in February 1994, the return visit to the Czech Republic by the then President Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma in October 1996 and most recently, the visit to India of Prime Minister Milos Zeman, in March 2001. Such high level interactions have provided necessary guidance and impetus to the bilateral relations.The most important aspect of our bilateral ties is undeniably trade and economic cooperation.

The economic reform process in both countries provides an ideal platform for expanding our interaction in this area. Institutional and legal infrastructure for our bilateral trade and economic relations has been in place for some time. Yet, the current trade turnover at around US $ 150 million is not commensurate with its true potential. There are considerable opportunities for further expansion of our trade in such fields as pharmaceuticals, information technology, hi-tech products, automobiles and automotive parts and infrastructure related items. India and Czech Republic need to encourage mutual investments.Excellency, our shared ideals allow us to understand each other’s concerns and aspirations and to work in multilateral fora in pursuit of common objectives. The terrorist attacks in Unites States of September 11, 2001 have dramatically underscored the fact that terrorism is a global menace knowing no borders or regions. The lethal reach and destructive power of terrorism has been enhanced by linkages to illicit trafficking of drugs, small arms and money laundering on a global scale.

We look forward to co-operating with like minded countries like yours in the global fight against this scourge. In this context, we hope for Czech Republic’s support for the early finalisation of the Indian Draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism. We watch with friendly interest the progress being made by the Czech Republic in its negotiations with the European Union (EU) for accession into the Union. The EU, as a whole, is India’s largest trading partner and we would have one more friend in the EU after the Czech Republic obtains full membership.

Excellency, I am confident that with your wide-ranging experience, you will effectively contribute to the growth of our bilateral relations. I would like to assure you that in your endeavour to further strengthen the friendship, goodwill and understanding between our two countries, you will receive the fullest co-operation of the Government of India. I wish you and your family a pleasant and professionally fulfilling tenure in India, and every success in your mission. I also take this opportunity to convey through you my best wishes for the health and happiness of His Excellency President Vaclav Havel and for the prosperity and well-being of the friendly people of the Czech Republic.

Thank you

Jai Hind