BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING
CREDENTIALS FROM MR. ZAKARIA SOEMINTAATMADJA, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE
OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 13,
It gives me great pleasure
to receive the Letter of Credence, accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary
and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia to the Republic of India.
I reciprocate His Excellency President Abdurrahman Wahid's kind sentiments
and extend my warmest regards and best wishes for His Excellency's health
and well-being, as well as for the prosperity and welfare of the friendly
people of Indonesia. I may add here that we are looking forward to the forthcoming
visit of President Wahid to India. I would also like to extend to you a
very warm and cordial welcome to India.
India and Indonesia have
an enduring and substantive relationship going back over 2000 years which
has enriched each other's culture, language and literature, architecture
and performing as well as graphic arts. Ancient Indian manuscripts and the
epic 'Ramayana' are replete with references to Java and Sumatra. This vigorous
interaction resulted in a unique cultural efflorescence by which Indonesia
not merely absorbed the best of India but also developed its qualities further
in a vibrant and dynamic fashion.
Today we are both large
and populous developing countries with pluralistic societies who share not
only a common heritage but also a mutuality of present day interests. Political
bonds were forged between us during our struggle against colonialism. The
cardinal principles of humanism, pluralism and social justice which permeate
your Constitution are also integral to our socio-political system. Commitment
to peace, freedom, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal
affairs of States are our cherished objectives.
Trade and economic relations
between India and Indonesia were formalised by an Agreement signed between
the two countries in 1978. Within the framework of this Agreement, official
discussions under a Joint Commission have taken place from time to time.
Joint Business Council meetings between our Chambers of Commerce are also
held periodically. Our shared commitment to democratic values places a responsibility
on us to engage in the widest possible consultations before arriving at
any decision. This process is sound but slow and our people are impatient
for improvement in the quality of their lives. We are required, therefore,
while continuing to encourage existing institutional structures of co-operation,
also to identify new fields of activity to serve our common objective. As
you have pointed out, the current moment, when both India and Indonesia
have newly formed Governments to guide their destinies, is a good one for
bringing new vitality into our relationship.
Since Independence, our
two countries have been acting together in various international fora like
the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, G-15, ARF, WTO and IOR-ARC. In
the NAM, India has always valued Indonesia's pivotal role and significant
contribution. The end of the Cold War has brought home to us the need for
strengthening South-South Co-operation in all these fora. India's Dialogue
Partnership with ASEAN has added a regional dimension to the abiding ties
Your Excellency, I appreciate
the commitment you have expressed to promoting the relations between our
two countries. Your rich and varied diplomatic experience coupled with earnest
efforts will together ensure your successful contribution towards enhancing
the quality of our bilateral cooperation. I assure you of my Government's
fullest assistance in your professional endeavours and also wish you and
your family a joyful stay in my country.