Your Excellency, President Filipe Nyusi
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Excellency, I am deeply touched by your kind words. Thank you also for your thoughts on the strength of the Mozambique-India relationship. I would like to thank you as well as the Government and the people of Mozambique for their warm welcome and generous hospitality.
Excellency, the relationship between our countries is not new. Thousands of Indian-origin people call Mozambique their home. I am told that most of the Siddi community that resides in parts of India is known to trace its ancestry to Mozambique. These communitiesare a living testimony to age old links that have connected our people, their ideas and traditions, and culture and commerce.
Excellency, both our countries suffered under the colonial rule. In the case of Mozambique, the struggle was much longer. Independent India was one of the leading advocates of Mozambican freedom from colonial rule. We were proud to see Mozambique join the ranks of free nations in 1975.
And, today, we applaud Mozambique as one of the fastest growing economies of the world in recent decades. Excellency, as two developing countries we face similar challenges. Our development and economic partnership, therefore, has been an essential part of our relationship.
Our trade and investment ties have particularly flourished in recent years.We want to build further on it.For this, India remains ready and committed to share its experiences, technology, capacity and concessional credit with Mozambique, in line with your priorities.
Last year marked the 40th anniversary of Mozambican independence and of establishment of our diplomatic ties. It also saw a level of interaction between our nations, never seen before. Its high point was your own State Visit to India in August 2015. Later, your Prime Minister honoured us with his presence during the third edition of the India-Africa Forum Summit. Excellency, I am aware that I am the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Mozambique in 34 years. This gap should never have been so long. And, I am confident that it will not be so in future.
With these words, Excellencies, Ladies & Gentlemen, please join me in raising a toast:
- to the health, happiness and well-being of His Excellency, President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi;
- to lasting peace, progress and prosperity among the people of Mozambique; and
- to strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between India and Mozambique.