International Affairs

NEW DELHI, MAY 7, 1999


I have great pleasure in accepting your Excellency's Letter of Credence as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Colombia to the Republic of India, and in extending to your Excellency a warm and cordial welcome to India.

Relations between India and Colombia are based on friendship and mutual respect. As you rightly said, Excellency, our countries share a lot of commonalities in the form of our rich cultural traditions, our unwavering commitment to the UN Charter and our steadfast adherence to the time tested principles of self-reliance, as proclaimed by our membership of the NAM. Strong attachment to democratic principles and the endeavours of our Governments to overcome the obstacles in the path of development in realising the legitimate aspirations of our people unite us in our journey to the next millennium.

Excellency, you have pointed out some of the areas of potential co-operation between our two countries. India has always been open to share its experiences with friendly countries in achieving a better quality of life for our people and for promoting international peace and development. We believe that scientific and technological developments are meaningless, if they are not utilised to bring in economic betterment of the whole society. The fast changing world has thrown up opportunities in almost every field and we must seize them to intensify our co-operation in areas of mutual benefit in the true spirit of South-South co-operation.

The potential of our economies should be fully utilised and we must encourage our business communities to deal more intensively with each other to expand and increase the level of economic co-operation in bilateral trade. The complementarities existing between our countries must be fully taken advantage of for our collective self-advancement.

Excellency, I am confident that Indo-Colombian relations will be further strengthened and intensified during your tenure in New Delhi. We in India remember with great reverence the role played by your distinguished father in furthering the cause of peace and development. I have no doubt that you have been inspired by his striking qualities of leadership and selfless service. Excellency, we are happy to see that our cultural relations will receive due attention under your stewardship, considering specially the pronounced interest of your daughter in Indian art forms.

I take this opportunity, Excellency, to assure you my Government's full support and co-operation in the discharge of your duties in India. On behalf of the people of India, and on my own behalf, I would like to convey through Your Excellency, our best wishes for the health and happiness of His Excellency President Andres Pastrana and for the continued progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Colombia.

Thank you

Jai Hind