BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING
CREDENTIALS FROM MR. VINCENT J. BOULE, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE
OF GABON TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, MONDAY,
MARCH 1, 1999
I am happy to receive
your Letter of Credence appointing you as the new Ambassador of Gabon to
Africa has always enjoyed
a special place in our hearts. India's relationship with Africa is time-tested.
India's freedom fifty one years ago marked the beginning of the period of
decolonisation in Asia, Africa and beyond. Even as we sought to consolidate
the fruits of our hard won independence our energies were harnessed in the
service of the African peoples' struggle for freedom. We rejoice in the
fact that Africa has achieved political freedom and is now endeavouring
to rapidly progress in the economic and social fields.
Since its independence
fifty one years ago, impressive technological advances have been made by
India in various fields laying the basis for a modern and resurgent economy.
In the true spirit of brotherhood, India is ready to share its technological
gains, specially in the areas of small scale industries, agriculture, agro-industries
and human resource development with Gabon and other developing countries
to achieve economic independence. We are not unaware of the challenges that
still lie ahead and believe that the shared experience of our freedom struggles
must now be reflected in assisting each other in the task of nation building.
India and Gabon share
a common vision of a peaceful world founded on justice and equality. With
the end of the cold war, there is an opportunity to achieve these goals
and like minded countries have to unite and strive together in this common
endeavour. An unequal non-proliferation regime and discriminatory global
disarmament mechanisms are sought to be perpetuated by a few countries.
There is a need to resist these discriminatory attitudes. Equally important
is the need to work together to create a more democratic and effective United
Nations that is fully responsive to the needs and priorities of the developing
As we stand today on
the threshold of a new millennium, it is indeed an opportune moment for
countries such as ours, who share an unbroken history of cordial relations,
to reiterate their resolve to further consolidate them to their mutual benefit
and for the good of mankind.
I wish to convey through
you, Mr. Ambassador, on behalf of the Government and the people of India,
and on my own behalf, greetings and good wishes to H.E. Mr. El Hadj Omar
Bongo, on his re-election as President of the Republic of Gabon.
In wishing you a successful
term of office as the Ambassador of Gabon to India, I would like to assure
you of the fullest co-operation of the Government of India in your endeavour
to strengthen the already existing friendly relations between our two countries