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Ambassador's address on Republic Day Reception on 24th January, 2024


Address by Ambassador


Your Excellency Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Avazbek Atakhanov,

Friends from the Diplomatic Community and the Indian Community,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening! 

          It is my honour and pleasure to extend a warm welcome to all of you to this reception being organized on the occasion of the 75th Republic Day of India. I would like to convey warm greetings and felicitations to all Indian nationals. I extend my best wishes to the friendly people of the Kyrgyz Republic and to all of you who are present here today. 

  1. Republic Day is celebrated to mark the entry into force of the Constitution of India on 26th January 1950. The Constitution of India secures social, economic and political justice; liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; and equality of status and of opportunity for all Indian citizens. It promotes fraternity and assures the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the nation. 
  1. Two years back, India celebrated 75 years of her independence. Standing at the threshold of another milestone, India today is the largest, most diverse, a vibrant democracy and has emerged as the fifth largest economy in the world. The Indian economy is a major enabler of global growth. The Government of India under the leadership of Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi has set the goal to build a self-reliant India. The ‘Make in India’ initiative is the main theme in this direction which would not only focus on the needs of India but also on those of others. Steps have been taken to make it easier to do business in India. At the same time, infrastructure in the country is being developed rapidly. Recognizing the importance of human resources, several programmes of literacy, education, skills and digitization have been initiated. 
  1. The Government has decided to deploy science and technology in its policy interventions. Emphasis has been laid on innovation and startups. Digital identity, data and digital payments have made the development process more inclusive. Self-reliance in science and technology were demonstrated in the success of the Lunar, Mars and Solar Missions. Our women scientists also contributed in a big way in all these space programmes. Indigenous Research & Development led to the rollout of 5G technology in the country. We were also able to send our Covid 19 vaccines to over 100 countries. 
  1. The year 2023 was important for India’s foreign policy as chair of two international groupings: G-20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The New Delhi G20 Leaders’ Summit held in September last year was the highest profile international gathering in the history of independent India. The theme of our G20 Presidency was “One Earth, One Family, One Future” which drew upon our age-old belief of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" meaning that the ‘World is One Family’. With over 200 meetings in 60 Indian cities, the size, scale and scope of India’s G20 Presidency was thus unprecedented. 
  1. India chaired the Council of Heads of State of the SCO for the first time while Kyrgyz Republic simultaneously chaired the SCO Council of the Heads of Government. India and the Kyrgyz Republic are strategic partners and we worked closely last year in the SCO. India hosted a total of 134 meetings and events during the presidency, including 14 Ministerial-level meetings. President of the Kyrgyz Republic H.E. Mr. Sadyr Zhaparov participated in the 23rd Summit of the SCO held virtually on 4 July 2023 which was presided by the Prime Minister of India. 
  1. The 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of SCO was held in Bishkek on 26th October last year under the Chairmanship of the Kyrgyz Republic. External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S. Jaishankar led the Indian delegation to this Meeting. During his visit, he called on President of the Kyrgyz Republic H.E. Mr. Sadyr Zhaparov and had a bilateral meeting with Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Zheenbek Kulubaev. 
  1. Regular exchanges of visits from both sides have contributed to the development of cooperation in several areas. There were extensive exchanges of visits last year under the rubric of the SCO. Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic H.E. Mr. Zheenbek Kulubaev visited India in May last year to attend the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of SCO. We are indeed honoured by the presence of some of the Cabinet Ministers and Secretary of the Security Council today who visited India last year. We also thank the Kyrgyz Republic for its contribution to the Voice of the Global South Summits that were convened by India virtually in January and November last year. 
  1. Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers H.E. Mr. Edil Baisalov, who is also the Chair of the India-Kyrgyz Republic Intergovernmental Commission, visited India in July to identify and discuss steps to further enhance the trade and economic cooperation between India and the Kyrgyz Republic. Bilateral trade was close to US$ 100 million last year but remains well below potential. 
  1. India and the Kyrgyz Republic have extensive cooperation in several other areas. The annual India-Kyrgyz Special Forces Exercise called “Khanjar” is going on now in India and reflects our common belief towards combating the menace of terrorism and extremism. Regular dialogue between the Security Councils of India and the Kyrgyz Republic is another facet of the strategic partnership between our two countries. 
  1. India has a long legacy of sharing its knowledge and expertise with partner friendly countries including the Kyrgyz Republic through the Indian Technical and Economic Co-operation (ITEC) programme. 100 ITEC slots are being offered every year to the Kyrgyz Republic to undergo capacity building training programmes in leading training institutions in India. More than 1,600 have undergone such training in India from the Kyrgyz Republic in the last three decades. 
  1. Our two countries have close cultural contacts which is strengthened through the exchange of cultural troupes. Regular yoga and Kathak dance classes are being held at the premises of Embassy of India in Bishkek. We shall have a performance by Dr. Rupa Chakaraborty and her Kathak dance students. You would be able to enjoy Kyrgyz and Indian dance performances by the local students of the Kauhar Cultural Group. 
  1. Re-introduction of e-visa to India for Kyrgyz nationals and a seven-day visa free regime for some categories of Indian passport holders have helped in the exchange of tourists. We are grateful to the Kyrgyz Government for taking care of the welfare of the 16,000 strong Indian Diaspora including our students studying medicine in the universities in Bishkek, Kant, Issy-Kul, Osh and Jalal-Abad. 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

  1. I thank all of you for joining us this evening to celebrate the 75th Republic Day of India. I also thank the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic for extending all the support to our Embassy and to H.E. Mr. Atakhanov for finding time out of his busy schedule to participate in this event today as the Chief Guest. A big thank you to my team at the Embassy for their tireless efforts in organizing this event today. 

          Thank you.