BY SHRI K.R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, AT THE BANQUET IN HONOUR OF MR.
BLAISE COMPAORE, PRESIDENT OF THE BURKINA FASO AND MADAME CHANTAL COMPAORE
NEW DELHI, TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 1997
and I have great pleasure to welcome Your Excellency and Madame Compaore
to India once again. We welcome you as the distinguished leader of a
forward-looking and resurgent nation. In the last four years, we have
been privileged to receive you on three occasions. The frequency of
our high level exchanges reflects the close relationship of trust and
friendship between our countries and peoples.
and Burkina Faso share historical experiences and similar perceptions
of the world. We have stood together in the common struggle to end the
age of colonialism. As India celebrates the Golden Jubilee of its independence
this year, we also rejoice in the emancipation of all Africa.
last fifty years, India's relations with the countries of Africa have
been guided by a vision of a common destiny and by an unwavering commitment
to South-South cooperation. It is this spirit that has been at the core
of our multi-faceted relations with Burkina Faso which have strengthened
in recent years.
Agricultural and Rural Development Project has emerged as a symbol of
our friendship and co-operation. With our long experience in agriculture
and particularly in the application of science and technology for increasing
agricultural productivity, India is ready to enhance its cooperation
with Burkina Faso in this key sector, vital for our common goal of economic
self-reliance. Though our bilateral trade remains small, the signing
of a Trade Agreement in 1995 and the setting up of the Joint Commission
earlier, augur well for more intensive trade and investment partnerships
and economic exchanges in several areas including, small industries,
transport, mining and the health sector, among others. The development
of human resources is another crucial area for extensive cooperation
under the aegis of the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme.
the process of economic reforms underway in our two countries have contributed
to the deepening and strengthening of our bilateral ties. Increased
contacts at all levels and the strengthening of our bilateral institutional
consultative mechanisms can vastly augment our capacity for cooperative
exchanges. Our people can together demonstrate that developing countries
are capable of standing on their own feet. Our partnership can truly
be a model of South-South cooperation.
your country is playing an important role in promoting peace and stability
as well as economic cooperation in your region. Within the Economic
Community of West African States(ECOWAS), your personal efforts have
contributed in significant measure to the improvement of the situation
in Liberia. We are very happy that Burkina Faso is hosting the Summit
of the Organisation of African Unity in 1998 when your country would
assume the Chairmanship of this prestigious organisation.
own region, South Asia, we are engaged in forging new and durable understandings
with our neighbours, and in strengthening the South Asian Association
for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). We are convinced that the fostering
of a climate of mutual trust and harmony would enable all the countries
of the region to reap for their peoples the benefits of genuinely participative
fora such as the United Nations and the Nonaligned Movement, Burkina
Faso and India share similar perceptions on several regional and international
issues. India appreciates the support extended by Burkina Faso on many
issues which affect us vitally. Both our countries support the restructuring
and greater democratization of the United Nations and in particular,
the Security Council making it more representative of present day realities
and accommodating the aspirations of developing countries. The recent
Ministerial meeting of the Nonaligned Movement in Delhi reflected our
common desire to revitalize the movement and transform it into an effective
instrument for the promotion of the collective interests of developing
countries and for fashioning a more just and equitable world order.
I am confident that your visit to India will give a new impetus to our
bilateral friendship and our co-operation in international affairs.
Ladies and Gentlemen, may I request you to join me in a toast:
- to the
health and happiness of His Excellency, President Blaise Compaore and
- to the
progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Burkina Faso; and
- to abiding
friendship between our two countries.