SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, SMT. PRATIBHA DEVISINGH PATIL AT THE BANQUET IN HONOUR OF THE PRESIDENT OF NEPAL, H.E. DR. RAM BARAN YADAV
New Delhi, 16th February 2010
Your Excellency Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, President of Nepal,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to warmly welcome Your Excellency, the first President of Nepal, to India.
Since time immemorial, the peoples of our two countries have shared the legacy of history, geography and civilization. Innumerable threads of myths and legends, cultures and customs, languages and literatures, triumphs and tribulations, aspirations and goals - in short, threads weaving the entire tapestry of life - have bonded our peoples together. It is a relationship which is unique and special in every sense.
You are no stranger to India. Your links with India go back to the days of your medical education in Kolkata and Chandigarh. We are very proud to see you guide the destiny of your country, and are honoured that you have chosen India, for your first visit abroad as the President of Nepal. Your visit is a testimony to the close bonds between our two countries and peoples.
Over the years, India has transformed itself into one of the leading economies of the world. Our economic growth has opened exciting opportunities not just for our people, but also for co-operation and collaboration with other nations. India has been sharing its resources, infrastructure and institutional capabilities with countries in the region. There is much scope for further promoting and expanding bilateral cooperation with Nepal in hydropower, tourism and agriculture, to name a few sectors that hold much untapped potential. We believe that Nepal's peace, progress and prosperity is not only beneficial for its people, but also for India and our region.
Driven and supported by the indomitable courage, determination and wisdom of its people, Nepal has crossed several important milestones on its journey to a stable and inclusive multi-party democracy. We hope that the remaining tasks would be completed expeditiously, so that the new constitution of Nepal is adopted. It would be a glorious and historic moment for the people of Nepal. We eagerly look forward to rejoicing with Nepal, when the new era dawns on your beautiful country.
As the first President of Nepal, you shoulder immense responsibilities, especially during this period of transition. Right from your days as a student leader, you have cherished democracy and valued freedom of choice. You have stood for the establishment of multi-party democracy and for the well being of the Nepalese people. Your sagacity and wisdom will be called upon on numerous occasions, in the months ahead, to guide the democratic institutions of Nepal. We are confident that, in the years to come, you will look back with satisfaction and cherish the historic role that you played in your country's destiny.
Before I conclude, I would like to say that India attaches the highest priority to its relations and cooperation with Nepal. It would render all possible support for economic development and peace in Nepal, in accordance with the wishes and priorities of the people of Nepal.
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, may I request you to join me in a toast to:-
- the health and happiness of His Excellency Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, President of Nepal,
- the peace, progress and prosperity of the friendly people of Nepal, and;
- the everlasting and ever growing friendship between India and Nepal.