BY SHRI K.R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING THE CREDENTIALS
MR. NURI EL-FITURI AL-MADANI, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE
OF THE GREAT SOCIALIST PEOPLE'S LIBYAN ARAB JAMAHIRIYA TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, TUESDAY,
DECEMBER 22, 1998
It gives me great pleasure
for me to accept your credentials as the Secretary of the Libyan Arab People's
Bureau in India. I warmly welcome you to India and extend my sincere congratulations
on your appointment to this position of high status and responsibility.
India and Libya share
a common history of undergoing immense sacrifices to gain independence from
colonial domination. After independence both countries adopted progressive
policies dedicated to improve the lot of the masses. Distance has not come
in the way of the steady growth of our relations. India and Libya have worked
closely within the framework of the Nonaligned Movement, UN and G-77 to
promote the cause of the developing countries. The economic and commercial
exchanges between our two countries also amply reflect the closeness of
our relations. Indian companies and technical personnel are engaged in a
wide range of nation building activities in Libya. Indo-Libyan cooperation
is reflective of India's willingness to share its technical knowledge and
expertise with friendly developing countries; it also is an outstanding
example of mutually beneficial South-South cooperation.
As you know, Excellency,
India has consistently believed in and worked for a just and equitable solution
to the Lockerbie issue. Six years have passed since sanctions were imposed
on Libya. We hope that pragmatic decisions will be taken which would permit
early and fair trial of the accused in open and credible judicial process,
acceptable to the international community. In this, we are encouraged by
recent developments which could pave the way for an expeditious review of
the sanctions regime.
Excellency, today's world
is substantially different from what emerged at the time of the Second World
War. These fundamental changes must be appropriately reflected in international
institutions, in particular the United Nations. Reform and restructuring
of the UN is essential if it is to strengthen its credibility and effectiveness.
Our two countries can work together to build a consensus on the criteria
and the methods of carrying this out.
The post-Cold War international
agenda is being shaped in a manner that reflects largely the interest of
the industrialized countries. India and Libya have to work closely together
by promoting convergence of our perceptions for the sake of our larger common
interests and to prevent a one-sided agenda being imposed on us.
As we approach the next
millennium, the threat of nuclear weapons is another challenge facing the
international community. India has always stood for a comprehensive, universal,
non-discriminatory and verifiable disarmament regime. As the present century
has witnessed the development and tragic use of nuclear weapons, it is incumbent
upon all of us to ensure that the world is free of all weapons of mass destruction.
It is also incumbent upon us, particularly the nonaligned and developing
countries, to work for a new international order in which powerful nations
do not take the law into their own hands and resort to force undermining
the collective and consultative procedures of the United Nations for the
settlement of disputes between nations.
Before concluding let
me fully reciprocate the warm sentiments of friendship expressed by Libyan
Arab People's Bureau and His Excellency Col. Muammar Al-Qadhafi, leader
of the Great 1st September Revolution.
Excellency, you have
been actively involved in the political and economic life of your country
for many years. With your rich past experience you will find India a fertile
ground for all ideas for strengthening bilateral relations in varied fields,
between our two countries. In this task I assure you the fullest cooperation
of my Government. I wish you all success and a productive stay in India.