|SPEECH BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, AT THE BANQUET IN HONOUR OF MR. VALDAS ADAMKUS, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA AND MRS. ALMA ADAMKIENE
NEW DELHI, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2001
Mr. Valdas Adamkus,
of the Republic of Lithuania,
gives me great pleasure to extend a very warm welcome to Your Excellency
and to Madame Adamkiene and to the members of your distinguished delegation.
This is the first ever State Visit from the Republic of Lithuania to
India and a long awaited one. It is particularly satisfying that you
would be celebrating your National Day during your stay in India. May
I take the opportunity to extend my sincere felicitations and best wishes
to you and the friendly people of Lithuania on this occasion.
would like to express the gratitude of the people of India for the assistance
which you have extended by providing relief to the people of Gujarat
affected by a devastating earthquake. We are very much touched by this
gesture of sympathy and friendship.
we in India see you as an ardent patriot and as a leader who has remained
politically active throughout his life. We know of you as a staunch
nationalist, a noted environmentalist and one keenly interested in sports.
We are aware of the deep interest you have in India, its philosophy,
its traditions and culture and its modern achievements.
the firm commitment of Lithuania to democracy and our shared belief
in democratic values and principles bring us close together. This is
further underpinned by the economic reforms process embarked upon by
our two countries.
and Lithuania share common historical and cultural roots. The similarities
are remarkable between the Lithuanian language and Sanskrit. Mahatma
Gandhi noted this similarity in the early part of the last century and
said that India and its people knew Lithuania and its people well because
of these linguistic affinities and of Lithuania’s ancient tales and
songs. Our great poet Rabindranath Tagore is well known in Lithuania,
we are familiar with the works of Vydunas, Antanas Poska and Vytautas
Narvilas. We are happy that Sanskrit and Hindi are taught in the Centre
of Oriental Studies of the Vilnius University. Thus, while we are geographically
distant, we are culturally close.
attaches importance to the further development of its relations with
Lithuania in various fields. There are considerable opportunities for
the expansion and diversification of our ties. We are particularly happy
to note that a large business delegation is accompanying you. This should
enable our two sides to focus on the methods to develop our trade and
economic co-operation. Some of the agreements signed between our two
countries earlier and to-day should further provide the necessary impetus
in this direction.
your visit has opened up a new epoch in our bilateral relations as well
as in our co-operation in the international field.
I now request those present to join me in a toast:
- to the
health and happiness of President Adamkus and Madame Adamkiene
- to the
further development of the friendship and cooperation between India
and the Republic of Lithuania; and
well being and prosperity of the peoples of our two countries.