Ambassador of the European Union, Ugo Astuto (top) and Ambassador of France, Emannuel Lenain (bottom) with President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan
Ambassador of the European Union, Ugo Astuto (top) and Ambassador of France, Emannuel Lenain (bottom) with President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan

5 Ambassadors, including EU and France, present credentials to President Kovind

ANI | Updated: Oct 03, 2019 17:06 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 3 (ANI): Five ambassadors, including those of France, Denmark and the European Union (EU) on Thursday presented their credentials to President Ram Nath Kovind.
In a ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the envoys who presented their credentials were the Ambassador of Denmark Freddy Svane, the Ambassador of France Emannuel Lenain, the Ambassador of the European Union Ugo Astuto, the Ambassador of Mexico Federico Salas Lotfe and the Ambassador of Kazakhstan Yerlan Alimbayev.
"It is a great honour for me to represent the European Union in India and work for a strengthened strategic partnership between the two of the world's largest democracies," EU ambassador Astuto said on the occasion.
The EU and India upgraded their long-standing relationship to a strategic partnership in 2004, based on their common goals and principles. Since then, the EU and India have been cooperating closely, reinforcing political, economic and people-to-people ties.
This cooperation was further broadened at the last summit in 2017 and has received new momentum through the adoption of the EU's strategy on India in November 2018.
Emphasising the strong mandate he has received from Brussels to unlock the potential of the EU-India partnership in all its dimensions, the ambassador said, "The EU and India can draw upon shared values of democracy and pluralism and their common belief in multilateralism to foster a co-operative approach to international relations, upholding the values and principles of the UN Charter. We look forward to further building on our collaboration to tackle key global challenges such as climate change and implementation of Sustainable Development Goals."
The EU and India enjoy strong trade and investment relations and are members of the G20, where they cooperate in shaping the global economic agenda, supporting sustainable development and the multilateral international trade system. The EU is also collaborating with India on several flagship initiatives such as Smart Cities, Clean Ganga, as well as in the context of the International Solar Alliance.
"My objective over the next few years is to further strengthen the well-established partnership and explore new avenues for cooperation with the Indian Government, based on each other's priorities and expectations," Astuto said.
"The fight against climate change is a common priority. We have much to gain by working together in the development of the digital economy, which offers great opportunities and challenges. We shall also further enhance our economic agenda, fostering trade and investments." he added.
The EU and India are strengthening their cooperation in political and security matters including counter-terrorism and cybersecurity. Cooperation in research and innovation, education and culture have also gained momentum in the last few years.
The Ambassador said, "The EU has developed a strategy for connectivity between Europe and Asia. India is an essential player in this respect. We can cooperate closely in the development of Eurasian connectivity, based on shared principles of transparency, inclusivity and sustainability."
Ambassador Astuto also paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary, recalling his universal messages of truth and non-violence.
On the other hand, French Ambassador Lenain underscored the historic ties of friendship and trust between India and France. The two countries are united by a strategic partnership since 1998, which recently expanded to include digital technology and cybersecurity.
He also highlighted France's determination to deepen the two countries' strategic cooperation, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.
The ambassador further shared France's desire to forge a partnership for the future with India by supporting the major programmes, notably in the areas of sustainable urban development, transport, energy and new technologies.
"Combating climate change, which is a priority for both our countries, should enable us to engage all stakeholders, whether they originate from states or civil society," Lenain said.
Lastly, the envoy recalled the importance he attaches to the youth of the two countries and the people-to-people bilateral ties. "These will be further enhanced through cultural, university and tourist exchanges," he said. (ANI)