International Affairs




I have great pleasure in welcoming you to India and accepting the letter of credence from President Constantinos Stephanopoulos accrediting you as the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Greece to India.

The contacts between India and Greece date back to the early fourth century B.C. when Alexander the Great – known to us in India as Sikandar – reached the upper valleys of the river Indus. Even earlier, India and Greece constituted the highway between the East and the West. This interface between our peoples has left its imprint on political, social and cultural relations between our two civilizations. The Gandhara school of art is a symbol of the fusion of Greek and Indian art forms. Indian and Greek philosophers have also influenced each other over the centuries.

Today our cordial relations are based on the common pillars of respect for democratic values and institutions, rule of law with an independent judiciary and a free press, while our bilateral ties are marked by regular political contacts at all levels. The visit of your President MR. Constantinos Stephanopoulos to India in January 1998, of your Prime Minister to India in February 2001 followed by the visit of your Foreign Minister in November 2001 were occasions for very useful exchange of views on a wide range of issues of bilateral and international concern. I am confident that the momentum provided by these visits will be sustained in the future.

Keeping pace with modern times, our bilateral relationship has today acquired a multidimensional character with exchanges in the fields of trade and commerce, science and technology and culture. However, the vast amount of goodwill amongst our peoples needs to be reflected more adequately in the economic interaction between our two countries. In a globalised world, we must seek out each other’s potential to our mutual benefit. The Indian economy is opening up and offers an attractive destination to Greek entrepreneurs. On our part, we look forward to participating in infrastructure projects in Greece where we have the requisite technology and competitive ability.

The Hellenic Republic is at the heart of modern Europe and would be taking over the Presidency of the European Union in January next year. We believe that as in ancient times when Greece was the highway between India and Europe, you will be a bridge for India to the European Union. We also recognise your country’s central position as a gateway to the Balkans and your unique role in promoting democracy and stability in the region, being the only country in that part of Europe which is a member of both the EU and NATO.

Excellency, we find ourselves in a new international environment today that has been completely transformed by the terrorist attacks of September 11, October 1 and December 13, 2001. These attacks have dramatically underscored the fact that terrorism is a global menace transcending borders and regions. India has waged a struggle against terrorism for over two decades. We look forward to cooperating with like-minded countries like yours in the global fight against this scourge of the 21st century.

Greece has been chosen to host the next Olympic Games in 2004. We welcome the return of the Games of the birth-place of the Olympic spirit.

Excellency, we value our relationship with Greece and hope that we can consolidate this relationship in the coming years through further initiatives in both bilateral and multilateral spheres.

I wish you a successful and pleasant tenure in India and assure you of the fullest cooperation of my government in the discharge of your duties

Thank you

Jai Hind