International Affairs



I have great pleasure in welcoming you to India and in accepting the Letter of Credence from the President of Ireland accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ireland to India.

I would like to convey to Her Excellency Mary McAleese, the President of Ireland my best wishes and thank Her Excellency for the kind greetings she has sent through you.

India deeply values its friendly relations with Ireland. The bonds of sentiment which bind India and Ireland, evolved during the political struggle for freedom in our two countries. The leaders of our respective freedom movements drew inspiration from each other and enjoyed mutual sympathy and support. The contribution of Irishmen and women to India during the period of British rule is well recognised in our country. We especially recall Dr. Annie Besant, who made a remarkable contribution to our political re-awakening. The poetry of W.B. Yeats, who was a friend and admirer of Tagore and was influenced by Indian mysticism has been read with avidity by students of literature in our country over the generations. The language of poetry and common values emanating from our political struggle for freedom and also from our spiritual heritage which transcend the barriers of time and space, have helped to bridge the geographical distance between our two countries.

We in India, recall the visit of your distinguished former President, Mary Robinson earlier this year in her capacity as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Her earlier visit in 1993 as President of Ireland was an important landmark in our bilateral relationship and had served to consolidate cooperation between our two countries. I am confident that the understanding between our two countries will grow stronger in the coming years.

The economic reform programme that India embarked upon in 1991 has made significant progress. This irreversible process has acquired greater scope and content over the last eight years. India's economic reforms offer prospects for further enhancement of trade and investment linkages between our two countries. Ireland could make use of the many advantages offered by India's huge domestic market and the availability of skilled manpower at reasonable cost. India could also be a good regional base for Irish firms to develop their business prospects in Asia.

We share with Ireland a commitment to the principles of democracy and individual freedom as well as peaceful co-existence among the nations of the world. I am sure that we will continue to work together on the basis of shared values towards a peaceful and equitable world order.

As a member of the EU, Ireland has been sensitive to India's concerns within the European Community. The EU is India's largest trading partner, the second biggest source of approved Foreign Direct Investment and a major partner for technology and development assistance. We are confident that Ireland will continue to show understanding of our concerns in the European Union.

We are happy to welcome you and your wife to India. It is, indeed, a pleasure to welcome her to the land of her birth as the wife of the Ambassador of Ireland.

I wish you, Excellency, a successful tenure in India and assure you of the fullest cooperation of my Government in the performance of your duties.

Thank you

Jai Hind