BY SHRI K.R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING
CREDENTIALS FROM MR. HAKI FADIL SHTALBI, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE
OF THE REPUBLIC OF ALBANIA TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11,
It gives me great pleasure
to accept your Credentials as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the Republic of Albania to India. I welcome you to India and extend my
felicitations on your appointment to this important position.
India has traditionally
had friendly relations with Albania. We look forward to a further intensification
of our bilateral ties.
exists in the furtherance of our relations in diverse fields. We must firmly
endeavour to tap their potential. Contacts between the leaders of the two
countries will help intensify a mutually beneficial relationship. We were
happy to receive President Mejdani during his visit to India in September
1997 to attend the funeral of Mother Teresa. Mother Teresa's is a name that
will always bind the people of our two countries in a close kinship.
We hope to see visits
at the Ministerial and official levels to give the necessary impetus to
our relations. Our trade and economic cooperation needs to be strengthened,
as these are, at present negligible. Exchange of trade delegations needs
to be encouraged. I am happy to note that Albanian candidates are attending
training programmes in India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation
(ITEC) and other programmes. We need to encourage greater people to people
contact through an intensified programme of cultural exchanges. I am confident
that the relations between our countries will develop and expand through
mutual efforts in the years to come to the benefit of our two peoples.
Excellency, India recently
celebrated the 50th anniversary of the creation of our Republic and the
ideals which the great leaders and our founding fathers bequeathed to us.
We rejoice in the fact that we are a land of unity in diversity and remain
firmly committed to the principles of democracy and secularism. We have
watched with friendly interest the democratisation of polity in Albania.
Our shared democratic values should help us in the further strengthening
of our friendship.
We are aware of the rapid
strides made by Albania in the economic sphere through the implementation
of market reforms. India is in the second stage of its economic reforms
process. Democracy and market economy provide us a common platform in the
consolidation of our bilateral ties. We fully reciprocate the friendly sentiments
of the Albanian leadership in this regard. We attach importance to our relations
Excellency, India continues
to play an important role in international affairs both at global and regional
levels, through its consistent efforts aimed at international peace and
security. We have placed considerable emphasis on improving our relations
with all our neighbours and beyond. Ahimsa and Panchsheel are important
coordinates in our foreign policy.
As we enter the new millennium,
we are confronted with new challenges and responsibilities. We seek to create
a new world order that is just and equitable and based on respect for the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of States. We face new challenges
and dangers from international terrorism, narco-terrorism and arms trade
that threaten global peace and security. Together with the international
community, India and Albania should make joint efforts to overcome these
Excellency, we know you
as a linguist, well versed in many languages both ancient and modern. I
am confident that you will be able to contribute significantly to the cause
of strengthening Indo-Albanian friendship. I would like to avail this opportunity
to assure you the full cooperation of the Government of India on all issues
concerning our bilateral relations. I wish you every success in your endeavours
to further promote our bilateral ties. I also take this opportunity to convey
through you my best wishes for the continued good health and happiness of
His Excellency Mr. Rexhep Mejdani, President of the Republic of Albania,
and for the prosperity and well-being of the friendly people of Albania.