International Affairs



It gives me great pleasure to accept your Credentials as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Republic to India. I welcome you to India and extend my felicitations on your appointment to this important position.

India's relations with the Slovak Republic have traditionally been warm, close and friendly. Even before India's independence, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had visited Bratislava in 1938 accompanied by his daughter. I am happy that a plaque in the City Square prominently recalls this visit as a symbol of our historical association.

Excellency, Indo-Slovak cooperation has been multi-dimensional in character encompassing economic, commercial, defence, scientific & technological and cultural spheres. Though Slovakia became independent on January 1, 1993, India had recognised the independence of the Slovak Republic and had conveyed its intention to establish diplomatic relations in December 1992 itself. Since then, through joint efforts, our multi-faceted cooperation has made significant progress and has been considerably strengthened acquiring greater meaning and thrust. Regular high level bilateral exchanges have proved useful in promoting mutual understanding about each other's concerns and priorities. The State visit to Bratislava in October 1996 by my predecessor was an important milestone in our bilateral cooperation. That visit and other exchanges at various levels has given the necessary impetus to our friendly and cooperative ties. Parliamentary contacts have provided an additional important dimension to our people to people contacts. We are gratified that the rich and varied cultural heritage of India is well appreciated in Slovakia, while we recognise Slovakia's contribution to European culture.

Excellency, India is a land of unity in diversity which has made us firmly committed to the principles of democracy and secularism. We have watched with friendly interest the consolidation of democracy and the advent of multi-party politics in the Slovak Republic. Our shared democratic values, beliefs and aspirations have helped in the further strengthening of our traditional friendship.

I am particularly pleased that in the context of our overall bilateral relationship, commercial and economic ties have increasingly assumed greater importance. While Slovakia continues to modernise and reform its economic system, India is in the second stage of its economic reform process. I am confident that our two countries can look forward to closer mutually beneficial economic cooperation in the coming years by taking full advantage of the opportunities ahead. We need to give greater focus and attention to new areas of cooperation. Mutual investment in each other's country should be further encouraged.

It is gratifying that in the context of its relations with Asia, the Slovak Republic has accorded priority to India. India attaches importance to its relations with the Slovak Republic in East and Central Europe while continuing to take an active interest in international affairs both at the global and regional levels. As we enter the new millennium, we are faced with the challenge of creating a new world order that is just, equitable and is based on respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States. Further, we are today confronted with new challenges of international terrorism, narco-terrorism and arms trade that threatens peace and security globally which need to be eliminated through concerted international action. I am confident that through joint efforts, India and the Slovak Republic will be able to pursue these objectives so that we leave a safer world for our children.

Excellency, we are aware of your immense personal contribution to the cause of strengthening Indo-Slovak friendship in your capacity as the Founder-President of the Association of Indian Friends now named "Indian Club". I would like to avail of this opportunity to assure you the full cooperation of the Government of India on all issues concerning our bilateral relations. I wish you a pleasant, fruitful and memorable stay in India and every success in your endeavours to further promote Indo-Slovak friendship. I also take this opportunity to convey through you my best wishes for the continued good health and happiness of His Excellency Dr. Rudolf Schuster, President of the Slovak Republic, and for the prosperity and well-being of the friendly people of Slovakia.

Thank you

Jai Hind