President Ram Nath Kovind: Indian diaspora are cultural ambassadors of country
India and Cyprus had mutually supported each other's independence movements and after obtaining freedom, we helped each other to progress as a nation. The culture of Cyprus resembles the ancient culture of India."
Lauding the Indian diaspora for their contributions to the country, President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday termed the community as true cultural ambassadors. Addressing the Indian community here, President Kovind said, "The relations of India and Cyprus have been traditionally close and friendly. India and Cyprus had mutually supported each other's independence movements and after obtaining freedom, we helped each other to progress as a nation. The culture of Cyprus resembles the ancient culture of India."
He added, "In order to make our international presence more stronger, the Indian community play a crucial role in our lives. All of us have contributed to spreading the message of India's role in the world."
Invoking former Army Chief of Staff KS Thimayya, the President said that he had sacrificed his life in Cyprus in 1965. He also expressed his gratitude to the Cyprus government for renaming the street stretching from Larnaca to Nicosia after him. He underscored that the people residing in India and those living abroad share cultural, emotional, economic and institutional relations, which has become stronger over the years.
"On October 2, Gandhi Jayanti would be celebrated around the world. This would be his 150th birth anniversary and ceremonies would be held. I hope that Cyprus would be among those who would be participating in these celebrations. All of you should help us in reaching Gandhi ji's message and philosophy across the world. Archbishop Makarios (first Cyprus president) had also a sense of high respect for Mahatma Gandhi,¿ President Kovind continued.
The President also highlighted the central government's various initiatives such as 'Digital India', 'Make in India' and 'Start-up India', saying how it benefitted the people. He also apprised that India has now become the fastest growing economy in the world, having achieved a growth rate of 8.2 percent.
President Kovind underlined that India's international relations are cordial while also inviting the Indian diaspora to come and invest in the country. "We have directed our high commissions and embassies to assist the people, where they can avail help 24*7. In the last few years, our government has taken a lot of steps to reach out to the Indian diaspora," the President further said.
Earlier in the day, President Kovind and First Lady Savita Kovind arrived in Cyprus for the first leg of their three-nation visit. Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Cyprus, Georgios Lakkotrypis received them at Larnaca International Airport.
According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), President Kovind is being accompanied by Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer's Welfare Parshottam Khodabhai Rupala and two Members of Parliament (MPs) Ram Shakal and Anil Baluni, along with several officials.
President Kovind is scheduled to hold a meeting with his counterpart Nicos Anastasiades in order to boost bilateral relations between India and Cyprus. He will also meet President of the House of Representatives Demetris Syllouris. President Kovind is also expected to address an Extraordinary Session of the House of Representatives. This is the first visit by a President to Cyprus after nine years.
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