BY SHRI K.R.NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, WHILE ACCEPTING CREDENTIALS FROM MR. EDVIN
STEFANOV SUGAREV, AMBASSADOR-DESIGNATE OF REPUBLIC OF BULGARIA TO INDIA
NEW DELHI, WEDNESDAY,
SEPTEMBER 30, 1998
I have great pleasure
in accepting your Credentials as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of Republic of Bulgaria to India. I extend, on behalf of the people and
Government of India, my sincere felicitations to you and welcome you, most
warmly, to our country.
Close and friendly relations
between the people of India and Bulgaria date back to times prior to the
establishment of our diplomatic relations. These links have been sustained
over the years, by mutual understanding and respect. Georgi Rakovoski, the
great Bulgarian revolutionary, expressed the Bulgarian people's solidarity
with the Indian people in their historic struggle for independence in 1857.
And at a formative period in the history of both our countries, Rabindranath
Tagore, Indian poet and visionary, paid a memorable visit to Sofia in 1926.
These are but examples of the political, cultural and intellectual interactions
between our two peoples.
Excellency, fresh opportunities
now present themselves for an intensification of our cooperation. My predecessor's
visit to your beautiful country in May 1994 imparted a fresh momentum to
our ties, while re-affirming the importance India attaches to its relations
with Bulgaria. That visit has been followed by Ministerial and other high
level visits, encompassing diverse spheres. And, significantly, contacts
between the Parliamentarians of our two countries have also promoted better
understanding of our respective democratic practices and concerns.
Excellency, it is heartening
that the economic dimension of our relationship is creating new bridges
of cooperation between our two countries. We have watched with interest,
Bulgaria's economic restructuring programme to rejuvenate its economy. As
India implements its programme of economic reforms, it seeks to better appreciate
the emerging capabilities of your country so as to respond to opportunities
for mutually beneficial economic cooperation.
At the threshold of the
new millenium, the mankind is faced with the challenge of creating a new
world order which ensures that the benefits of technological change are
shared by all nations. It is important for the world community to ensure
that such a new order is just, equitable, and is based on respect for the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of States. I am confident that India
and Bulgaria, which have convincingly demonstrated their commitment to the
ideals of peace, will make concerted efforts at all international fora in
the pursuit of this shared vision.
Excellency, may I assure
you that the Government of India is ready to extend its full cooperation
to you on all issues concerning our bilateral relations. I wish you a pleasant
and fruitful stay in India. I also take this opportunity to convey through
you my best wishes for the health and happiness of His Excellency President
Stoyanov and for the prosperity and well-being of the friendly people of