The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, addressed the Indian community and Friends of India in Zagreb, Croatia, yesterday evening (March 26, 2019) at a Reception hosted by Shri Arindam Bagchi, Ambassador of India to Croatia.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that it is very heartening to see that irrespective of their background, Indian community had found a welcoming home in Croatia, and is contributing in its own ways to the development of Croatia. Yet, the members of the community have kept India and Indian values and traditions alive in their hearts and they were a true reflection of India with its rich diversity, cultural heritage and traditions.
The President said that Indian diaspora are the prism through which the Croatian people see India, and their success in Croatia has contributed to building a positive image of India in this country. He also thanked the friendly people of Croatia for their generosity and large heartedness in welcoming Indian community in their homes, and in their social circles. He said that the role that each one of them has played in enhancing engagement and understanding between India and Croatia is truly commendable.
The President said that the values of democracy, pluralism and peace that India stands for, and its economic growth story, have combined to make India a force to be reckoned with. He said that India was ready to work with everyone to find solutions to global challenges and to extend a hand of friendship to one and all.
The President appreciated the role played by Friends of India, a large number of whom attended the event, in enhancing engagement and understanding between India and Croatia. He appreciated their efforts in creating a vast network of cultural institutions, dance and yoga schools, Ayurveda clinics and Indian stores and restaurants. All these have popularized India across Croatia and across all age groups. We were truly impressed that International Day of Yoga was celebrated last year in 37 cities across Croatia, he said.
The President also attended a banquet yesterday (March 26, 2019) hosted in his honour by the President of Croatia, Mrs Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic. Speaking on the occasion, the President said that India and Croatia enjoy historical and cultural linkages. The Independence of Croatia coincided with a new phase of liberalization of Indian economy. The growth story of India, particularly over the last few years, and Croatian journey as a member country of the European Union, hold immense promise for our economic partnership.