The following is the text of the Vice
President of India Shri M. Hamid
Ansari’s Speech at a Banquet hosted in his honour by Mr. Iligzar Sobirov, Chairman of the Senate at Tashkent, Republic of
Uzbekistan today :
“Excellency, Mr. Iligzar Sobirov, Chairman of the
wife and I, and members of my delegation are delighted to be in Tashkent,
amidst friends the warmth of whose welcome underlines and reaffirms the silken
ties of history and culture that bind our two people.
convergence of our destinies owes much to geographical
proximity. Most people are surprised when told that the distance from Delhi to
Tashkent is much less the distance to most parts of southern or north-eastern
India. This facilitated the movement of people and sharing of beneficial
skills. It is reflected to this day in linguistic affinities, social practices,
customs culinary preferences and dress forms.
and traders led the way; a parallel stream manifested itself in the flow of
ideas, knowledge, savants and scholars. In one age Buddhism became the dominant
instrument of discourse; in another Islamic learning and Sufism led the way and
left an indelible imprint.
Today we came
together to draw, on the basis of these solid foundations, the contours of a
mutually beneficial relationship relevant to the imperatives of the 21st
century. India’s Connect Central Asia Policy is in reality a re-connect
endeavour premised on mutually identified areas of beneficial cooperation.
in the day I had a fruitful meeting with President Karimov
and I am even more convinced that our relations are truly special and we have
similar approaches to major issues. This understanding at the highest political
level gives us reason to be optimistic about the future of our relations.
is one of India’s closest friends. We celebrate your many successes since your
independence. It is important that we join hands to increase the intensity of
our bilateral economic cooperation to match the already close level of
political understanding and people-to-people affinity.
recent times, our relations have been elevated to the level of a strategic
partnership. It means that we can look forward to cooperation in all possible
spheres of human endeavour.
India and Uzbekistan face common challenges from terrorism and religious
extremism. We therefore need to work closely towards promoting peace and
stability not just in our common region, but in the entire world.
Parliaments have an important role to play in nation building and we need to
learn from each other’s experiences. We must encourage greater engagement
between our two parliaments.
May I request
you to join me in a toast:
For the health of His
Excellency Mr. Ilgizar Sobirov
For the prosperity and
progress of the people of Uzbekistan; and
For eternal friendship
between our two peoples.
Kumar (from Tashkent)/VPI/22.05.2013