President Kovind thanks Djibouti for help during 'Operation Rahat'

ANI | Updated: Oct 04, 2017 05:17 IST

Ambouli [Djibouti], October 4 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind, while addressing nearly 200 Indians in Djibouti on Tuesday, thanked the country for their role in helping Indians to evacuate from Yemen two years ago.

"We are thankful to this country for operation Rahat and the way Indians and the people from other countries were evacuated from Yemen two years back. This is really commendable," he said.

Speaking on the same note, he added, "People are suffering from terrorism. Likewise, our country too is suffering due to our neighbor country."

President Kovind also spoke about India's high growth trajectory, adding that it is opening new opportunities for collaboration.

"The rise of India is opening new opportunities for collaboration. Our diaspora has an important role in building bridges between India and the world. India is on a high growth trajectory," he said, in the first leg of his State Visit to two African countries - Djibouti and Ethiopia.

President Kovind further spoke about the changes India plans to undertake by 2022, which will also mark the 75th year of the country's Independence.

On his first overseas visit after assuming office, the President of India also stressed, "We should not ignore or isolate our roots, no matter where we stay."

President Kovind praised the Indian community living there, highlighting their dedication to the people of Djibouti

"While we have an Ambassador to represent our government, every member of the Indian community present here is a representative of our nation. In whatever capacity, they have made Djibouti their home - be it as traders, as professionals, or as skilled workers, they have shown a spirit of selfless and dedicated service to the people around them," he said.

"They have, while preserving their traditions, family values and strong work ethic, adapted very well in their adopted home, becoming pillars of support for the local community and a source of pride for India," he added.

He also emphasized on the possibilities of building a partnership between both the countries, "Historical links and people-to-people contacts have existed between India and Djibouti since times immemorial. We must now try to rediscover this shared history and identity. Much effort is required to resurrect our common heritage, not just for old times' sake but to build a contemporary partnership.

Prospects of the blue economy and the connect of the Indian Ocean provide immense possibilities to build a sustainable future."

President Kovind was received by Prime Minister Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed upon his arrival. The two leaders then engaged in a short round of talks on bilateral relations and themes of common interest to both countries.

The President also paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi by garlanding the bust of the Father of the Nation on Djibouti's Nelson Mandela Avenue.

The visit also marks the first by an Indian President ever to Djibouti and will be the second to Ethiopia after the then President V. V. Giri's trip in 1972 (ANI)