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Mon, 2005-08-15 03:00

On the occasion of the 58th anniversary of our Independence Day, I extend my warm greetings and best wishes to all my fellow Indians, persons of Indian origin and all other friends of India.

As we celebrate the occasion, our thoughts go back, in grateful remembrance, to the martyrs, known and unknown, whose sufferings and sacrifices have made it possible for us to achieve freedom from the colonial rule.

Our country has taken great strides over the years to strengthen our democratic institutions and to reinforce our commitment to secularism and to promote peace and harmony among nations.

We can, indeed, take great pride in the achievements made by our country in the fields of scientific research, higher education, information technology and human resource development. Our economy is gaining strength year after year and India is poised to emerge as one of the three largest economies in the world within the next two decades.

While our people take legitimate pride in what has been achieved since independence, we are conscious that we have a long way to go in our endeavour to convert the heritage of an old civilization into the promise of a modern nation.

We are working with determination and dedication to convert the nation’s dreams into reality, to ensure that India finds its legitimate place in the evolving architecture of the world that is taking shape in this new era.

India looks forward to playing a responsible role in imparting order and equilibrium in Asia and the world so that we may all live in an atmosphere of harmony, cooperation and prosperity.

India attaches great importance to its bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The cultural contacts between the two countries have been in existence since several centuries. The Indian and Arab civilizations have gained tremendously in various fields by virtue of these rich contacts.

These traditional bonds have been further strengthened by the presence of the large expatriate Indian community which has found a home in the Kingdom. The Indian community has been making significant and meaningful contributions to the economies of both countries. The endeavour of the Consulate General of India would always be to work tirelessly to render the best possible services to the Indian Diaspora in the Western Province.

The business communities of the two countries have identified exceptional opportunities for the growth of trade and commerce and investments in several sectors. The Saudi-Indian Business Network, launched in March 2005, has already become a focal point for fostering greater understanding between the entrepreneurs and businessmen of the two countries and for exploring newer areas for expanding the bilateral economic cooperation.

The first-ever India Festival proposed to be organized in Jeddah next month would, undoubtedly, further cement the historic ties between the people of these two great nations.

Prospectively, we are looking forward to a dynamic, vibrant and sustained relationship with the friendly people of Saudi Arabia.

Ausaf Sayeed

Consul General of India

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