BY SHRI K.R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING
CREDENTIALS FROM MR. MICHEL ADECHIAN, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE
OF THE REPUBLIC OF BENIN TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, MONDAY,
MARCH 1, 1999
I am greatly pleased
to receive your Letter of Credence appointing you as the new Ambassador
of the Republic of Benin in India. On behalf of the Government and the people
of India, and on my own behalf, I extend a warm welcome to you.
India's relations with
Africa are historic and one of kinship. The association between our two
peoples has been cemented by our common struggle against colonialism and
apartheid, and our joint vision for a just and equitable world. Today, our
common faith in democracy and commitment to economic liberalisation provide
a sound basis for a mutually beneficial relationship. We commend the flourishing
democracy in Benin and the bold and visionary economic programmes being
pursued by the Government of President Kerekou.
As members of the Non-Aligned
Movement, our two countries share a common perspective on the need for reforming
and restructuring the United Nations, to make it a more representative and
democratic institution. We must also collectively work for a complete and
comprehensive non-discriminatory disarmament regime and resist all attempts
of a few nations to impose the nuclear hegemony on the world. We greatly
value the understanding shown by Benin in supporting India's stand on this
vital issue of concern to human kind.
In the five decades of
independence, India has made considerable progress in industrial, agricultural,
scientific and technological areas. India offers to share its developmental
experiences with the brotherly people of Benin in the true spirit of South-South
co-operation. I am happy to note that an agreement establishing the India-Benin
Joint Committee was signed in November, 1997. This would provide the institutional
framework for the future expansion of our bilateral co-operation.
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. Mathieu Kerekou,
President of the Republic of Benin.
In wishing you a successful
term of office as the Ambassador of Benin to India, I would like to assure
you of the fullest co-operation of the Government of India in your efforts
to strengthen the existing friendly relations between our two countries