He sent a congratulatory tweet on Tuesday, saying: “My warmest congratulations to the people of India on the 72nd Republic Day. On this occasion, I wish President @rashtrapatibhvn and Prime Minister @narendramodi continued peace, progress and prosperity.”
The Embassy of India in Madagascar thanked the President on Twitter and responded: “Thank you your Excellency President @SE_Rajoelina for your warm wishes on our 72nd Republic Day. Under your dynamic leadership #India and #Madagascar are working towards realising our PM @narendramodi ’s vision of Security & Growth for All in the Indian Ocean Region #SAGAR.”
Foreign Minister of Madagascar, Tehindrazanarivelo Djacoba, also congratulated people of India and tweeted: “My warmest congratulations to the people and Government of India on the 72nd Republic Day. On this occasion, I wish India and her people continued peace, progress and prosperity. @DrSJaishankar @AmbassadorAbhay”. The Tweet was retweeted by External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S. Jaishankar.
Ambassador also hosted a reception on the occasion of the 72nd Republic Day of India, in which the Defence Minister of Madagascar, General Leon J R Rakotonirina, was the Chief Guest. The newly elected President of the Senate of Madagascar as well as the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development and the Minister of Telecommunications also attended the reception besides the Ambassadors and the Head of International Organisations in Madagascar.
Speaking on the occasion of the reception hosted at the Embassy’s Residence, Ambassador Abhay Kumar said: “India and Madagascar have cordial and friendly bilateral relations since the time of Madagascar’s Independence in 1960. India and Madagascar have several ongoing cooperation programs ranging across humanitarian assistance, education, health and capacity building which have been beneficial to Malagasy people.”
The Chief Guest of the evening, the Defence Minister of Madagascar General Richard Rakotonirina said: “January 26, 1950 is a historic day for India. In 72 years of being a Republic, India has met the immense challenges before it. Thanks to the tireless efforts and selflessness of its leaders, and above all, to the support and confidence of its people, India is today a model of success for many countries, especially African countries aspiring to emerge.”
Highlighting the efforts made by Malagasy government for development of Madagascar, the Minister said: “Since 2019, the Malagasy Government has been making all efforts to establish the foundations for harmonious economic and social development. We still face many challenges, but fortunately, Madagascar can count on loyal partners like India to support it. In this regard, we appreciate India's aspiration to become one of Madagascar's major partners in achieving its objectives of economic emergence, in accordance with the Emergence Madagascar initiative launched by the President of the Republic, Andry Rajoelina.”
The minister highlighted the memorable visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to Madagascar in March 2018 as one of the crucial junctures of this long cooperation.
He appreciated the efforts made by India in cooperation projects like establishment of the Center on geo-informatics applications for rural development (CGARD) in 2018, granting of capacity-building scholarships for State personnel, since 2007, donations of medicines and medical equipment including the Bhabhatron II machine for cancer treatment, India’s support for the fight against Covid-19 in 2020 and the inclusion of Madagascar in the general system of preferences for developing countries.
He added, “I also cannot ignore the solidarity of the Government and the Indian people towards the Malagasy people in the difficult times that we have recently gone through. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the various emergency humanitarian aid, in particular the 600 tonnes of rice, food, first aid kits, and the medical mission deployed following the bad weather in January 2020.”
“Still in this outpouring of solidarity, allow me to express gratitude of the people and the Malagasy government for the support of the Indian Government by the granting, soon, of 1000 tons of rice in order to face the serious consequences of the drought in southern Madagascar”, said the Minister to an applauding audience.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, the Minister said: “India, through these various actions, has once again translated into action Gandhi's words, which I quote: 'Love is the most powerful force the world has, and yet it is the most humble that can be imagined’.”
The minister also acknowledged the presence of a large Indian Diaspora in Madagascar for over a century and said: “This Diaspora is a privileged witness to the contemporary history of Madagascar. It accompanied the Malagasy people in all their great moments, but also in all their trials. Today, it must be recognized as a major player in Madagascar’s national economy, because it contributes to building this country on a daily basis.”
The celebrations also saw cultural performances by members of ITEC and ICCR alumni in Madagascar. (ANI)