BY SHRI K.R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE RECEIVING CREDENTIALS FROM
MR. HEIMO RICHTER, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 19, 2000
It is with
great pleasure that I accept the Letter of Credence from His Excellency
Mr. Johannes Rau, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, accrediting
you as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal
Republic of Germany to India. On behalf of the people and the Government
of India, I extend a warm welcome to you, as well as my good wishes for
the success of your assignment.
you begin your tenure in India at an exciting time in our bilateral relationship.
India and Germany have embarked on a process of intensified dialogue and
interaction and our bilateral relationship is better placed today than
it has ever been in the recent past. I recall with deep pleasure my visit
to Germany in September 1998; my discussions with the Federal President,
the Chancellor and other German leaders on that occasion convinced me
of the immense potential that exists for strengthening the linkages between
India and Germany. I am happy to note that the succeeding months have
proved that my conviction was well-founded.
We have adopted the "Agenda
for Indo-German Partnership in the 21st Century" which
is, as you have said, indicative of our mutual commitment to intensify
bilateral relations. This agenda outlines a comprehensive road-map for
further developing our contacts and identifying sectors for mutually beneficial
co-operation. We have also initiated a bilateral strategic dialogue, which
would, undoubtedly, serve as a useful mechanism for sharing perceptions
on major regional and international issues of common concern.
look forward to stepping up the pace and extent of interaction between
our two countries. Though we deeply regret the postponement of President
Rau’s visit to India, we fully understand the reasons. We, however, would
hope to receive both the President and Chancellor Schroeder in India in
the year 2001. We shall also be happy to welcome your Foreign Minister,
Defence Minister, Environment Minister and Finance Minister to India this
year. We are sure that such regular high level contacts will provide an
extra impetus to our bilateral relations and co-operation between the
following the launch of India’s economic reform programme has as you have
observed, witnessed a rapid expansion in Indo-German trade and commercial
relations. Germany is today India’s one of the largest trading partners
in Europe and worldwide as also a major source of technology and foreign
investment. The actual figures, however, leave considerable scope for
improvement. There exists vast untapped potential for further expanding
bilateral trade and investment, especially given the positive developments
which have taken place with regard to the investment climate in India.
This is one of the areas in which your personal interest and attention
during your tenure in India can make a difference.
to the cultural relations, we look forward to the opening of the Festival
of Germany in India. It is particularly appropriate that this Festival
should be held during the death centenary year of Max Mueller, the great
German Indophile and scholar whose name is synonymous with Indo-German
ties. We are certain that this Festival will make Germany a vivid and
exciting reality for the people of India.
as you have rightly observed, our two nations have shared fundamental
values and mutual political interests: of commitment to pluralism, democracy,
peace, rule of law, federalism, freedom of expression, free trade, openness
to the outside world and also to the preservation of the resources on
which life depends. This is the basis on which we have built the Indo-German
partnership over the past half a century. We also look forward to working
together for the achievement of our common objective of a more equitable
and participatory world order.
Germany are united in the conviction that fundamentalism and cross-border
terrorism pose the most serious threat to international peace and security.
We need to translate this conviction into practical co-operation to tackle
this global menace. The European Union has extended valuable support to
the Indian draft Convention for Combating International Terrorism. We
hope that Germany, as an influential member of the EU, will play its part
in the negotiation and adoption of this Convention.
conclude, Excellency, by wishing you the very best for your assignment
in India. We look to you to build upon the new dynamism and vitality which
is evident today in our relationship. I assure you the fullest co-operation
of my government in your efforts to achieve this objective and wish you
the very best in your endeavours.