Toast on the Occasion of the Banquet hosted by the President of India, Delhi, Wednesday 26th August 2015
Thu, 27 August 2015 | Foreign Affairs
Your Excellency, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, President of the Republic of India,
Your Excellency, Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am truly delighted and honoured to be, once again, in your captivating and beautiful country. I am deeply touched by your warm welcome and hospitality extended to my delegation and me.
Your Excellency, please allow me once again to extend to you my deepest condolences and the condolences of the People of Seychelles on the passing of your wife, a lady of immense culture, a lady who has been your companion for 58 years, a devoted mother and a lady who has had a powering presence both on the Indian and international cultural scene. We grieve with you her passing.
May I also be allowed, to once again, extend our deepest condolences on the demise of the Former President of India, one of the foremost statesmen, scientists and humanists of the century. He shall be deeply missed.
Mr. President, in spite of the somberness and sense of loss and personal tragedy, I wish to state that it is a great happiness that I return to India to feel the pulse and heartbeat of the world’s largest democracy and the dynamism of a great nation on the move which is an inspiration to the whole world.
Your Excellency, I also felicitate you, the Government and people of India for the recent celebration of your 69th Independence Day Anniversary which has been a critical turning point in the historical and remarkable development of the Incredible India of Today.
The people of India and Seychelles have always shared a close relationship through our strong cultural and historical links. Strong family ties and kinship bind us together, represented by our many brothers and sisters of Indian origin who are an integral part of our history.
Our relations also draw their strength from our shared values of democracy. They are nurtured by a common purpose for the progress and well-being of our people, peace and prosperity in the Indian Ocean, and the world beyond.
India is one of our strategic partners in this part of the world. It is therefore a great honour to be hosted this evening by thePresident of a great nation which is a close friend and a staunch ally of Seychelles.
Our mutual respect and trust grows with every encounter, as do our shared aspirations for stronger, deeper India-Seychelles relations in a better and more prosperous world. Our relationship was given a further boost by the memorable and fruitful visit of Prime Minister Modi to Seychelles in March of this year.
The friendship between our two countries is reflected in the solid and endurable partnership we have put in the place over the years in almost every sector of human endeavour.
We have, for example, a strong and exemplary partnership in the defense and security sectors. This has enabled us to fulfil our shared responsibility to advance maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. The destiny of our two countries is indeed linked by the currents of the ocean we share.
It is also gratifying to have India as a partner in our overall development programme.The development of our human resources and capacity building in particular, is a key element which helps us build our resilience and adaptability as a nation. And I passionately believe in this. We look forward to the continued support of India in this field.
We are committed to continue working together towards forging a more comprehensive economic and commercial relationship between India and Seychelles. We want it to be a partnership which drives economic growth and prosperity for our two nations. The facilitation of visa arrangements for our citizens, the enhancement in air connectivity, and the agreements signed this morning in Agriculture and the Blue Economy are set to play a significant role in this endeavour. The meeting we had earlier with prominent members of the business, industry and trade community augurs well for deeper economic and commercial engagement between our two countries.
Both our countries have a stake in the Blue Economy for the sustainable development of our shared oceanic space. It gives us the chance to tap into immense economic opportunities while also preserving our ocean for future generations.
India is a leader. We recognize the prominence of India on the global stage and we appreciate India’s efforts to reform the Security Council and thank India for taking Africa’s positions into account in this process.
Small Island Developing States like Seychelles appreciate India’s commitment to the pursuit of a more sustainable and inclusive development in the world. We are grateful to India for its consistent support to the stance of Small Island Developing States so that they get a fairer deal in the international architecture of development.
We have strong convergence of views on climate change and we are deeply committed to combating it. In this regard, we call for a strong and ambitious agreement at the Paris Conference.
We also look to India regionally. We attach a lot of importance to the strengthening of our only pan-Indian Ocean organisation, the Indian Ocean Rim Association. We equally attach a lot of importance to the strengthening of the Africa-India relationship. There is also no doubt that the 3rd Africa-India Forum Summit will give a new dimension to the numerous links between Africa and India.
The ties of cooperation and the friendship between Seychelles and India are very special, and continue to thrive. Our relations are set to be strengthened following the recent visit of Prime Minister Modi to Seychelles and my visit to India today. I have no doubt about this, and I assure you of my commitment to that end.
It now gives me great pleasure to invite you to join me in a toast to the good health and prosperity of His Excellency, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, President of the Republic of India, as well as to the everlasting ties of friendship and cooperation which bind the peoples of
Seychelles and India.
I thank you.