BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING
THE CREDENTIALS FROM DR. JEAN G. DANIEL, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE
OF THE REPUBLIC OF LEBANON TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 23,
It gives me great pleasure
to accept your Credentials as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of the Republic of Lebanon to India. I warmly welcome you to India and extend
my sincere congratulations on your appointment to this position of high
status and responsibility. Thank you for conveying the good wishes of President
Emile Lahoud, which I most sincerely reciprocate.
Indo-Arab relations go
back several millennia. These have been fashioned in history in the larger
context of the meeting between two great, ancient civilisations. The relations
have encompassed almost every aspect of human life - cultural, social, religious,
political as well as commercial. India's strong defence of Arab rights,
and support for Arab and Palestinian causes, owe much to our mutual historical
understanding and friendship.
Excellency, we admire
the courage and fortitude with which people of Lebanon have faced years
of civil strife and unrest. Restoration of peace and return of normalcy
in Lebanon after long years of turmoil is a tribute to the sagacity of Lebanon's
India has also been watching
with interest your endeavours for national reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Lebanon's march to prosperity and high economic growth in recent years reflects
its people's determination and commitment. The Government and people of
India are ready to make any feasible contribution to this process.
There are many similarities
between our two countries. Both India and Lebanon are multi-ethnic, multi-religious
and multi-cultural societies, which generate a feeling of natural empathy
between us. India considers Lebanon an important country in the West Asian
region and we value our multi-faceted relations with you.
India stands for Lebanon's
sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity. We have always called for
the unconditional and full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution
No.425 at the earliest, and the extension of the authority of the State
of Lebanon over its entire territory.
Excellency, the Non-aligned
Movement retains its relevance in the post-cold war world. Our two countries
must work together to give to the Movement a new impetus and maintain its
solidarity in order to vouchsafe the world's multi-polarity.
Excellency, I have noted
the statement by your Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Dr. Salim EL-HOSS that India and Pakistan resolve their differences over
Kashmir through peaceful bilateral discussions. India is committed to the
same approach viz., that of addressing all outstanding issues with Pakistan
through bilateral dialogue in the spirit of the Shimla Agreement and the
Lahore Declaration. Friendly and cooperative relationship with neighbours
has always remained an integral part of our national policy.
Excellency, I would like
to assure you that in your capacity as the Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lebanon, you will receive full cooperation
and support of the Government of India on all issues pertaining to our bilateral
ties. I wish you an enjoyable and productive stay in India and every success
in your endeavours to further promote India-Lebanon friendship. I would
also like to take this opportunity to convey my best wishes to the leadership
of the Republic of Lebanon and for the prosperity and well being of its