BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING
THE CREDENTIALS FROM MR. MOHAMED SAHBI BASLY, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE
OF TUNISIA TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1998
It gives me great pleasure
to accept your Credentials as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of Tunisia to India. I warmly welcome you to India and extend my sincere
congratulations on your appointment to this position of high status and
Excellency, you have
rightly drawn attention to the glorious antiquity and diversity of the Tunisian
civilization. It is a tribute to the wisdom of your people that in modern
Tunisia the varied strands of culture have come together to form a strong
and beautiful canvas. Tunisia's record in upholding human rights and dignity
of women is second to none. Similarly, we in India, have faced the complex
task of assimilating and reconciling many religious, linguistic, ethnic
and social groups. Due to the inspired vision of the Father of our Nation,
Mahatma Gandhi, and other leaders, we have been able to build a society
of tolerance and religious amity with constitutional guarantees of the right
of all people to practice and profess their faiths.
The world is still troubled
by intolerance, ethnic strife and cross-border terrorism. We are confident,
that the tradition of secularism and democracy, so deeply engrained in our
country will withstand this challenge. Both India and Tunisia share the
same perceptions on terrorism and can join hands to give a global focus
to this menace.
Today's world is substantially
different from what emerged at the end of the Second World War. Asia, Africa
and Latin America, must be appropriately reflected in international institutions.
Reform and restructuring of the UN is essential if it is to strengthen its
credibility and effectiveness. Our two countries can work together to build
a consensus on the criteria and the methods of carrying this out.
has not come in the way of the steady growth of our mutually beneficial
cooperation in diverse fields. We have shared a partnership in promoting
the cause of global peace and development. Our two countries have cooperated
in forums like the UN, G-77 and the UN Commission on Human Rights to promote
and achieve these very objectives.
It is noteworthy that
Tunisia today enjoys the largest trade surplus with India on account of
India being an important market for Tunisian phosphate. Both India and Tunisia
have followed the path of economic liberalization in recent years. It has
opened up fresh opportunities for the two countries to enhance our economic
and trade cooperation. With the visit of Tunisian Minister of Scientific
Research & Technology another step has been added in our cooperation in
the field of science and technology.
Excellency, you have
been actively involved in the political and economic life of your country
for many years. You have been the Governor of a leading manufacturing and
trading centre in Tunisia. With your rich experience, you will find in India
ample opportunities for strengthening the bilateral relations between our
two countries. In this task I assure you the fullest cooperation of my Government.
I wish you all success as well as a productive and pleasant tenure in India.