India is ready to share its experiences with Suriname and help in its progress and development, President Draupadi Murmu has said, asserting that the two nations may be separated by geography but they are connected by a shared history and heritage.
Murmu arrived in Suriname on Sunday on a three-day state visit – her first since assuming office in July last year.
President Murmu and her counterpart Chandrikapersad Santokhi addressed a community reception hosted by the Indian Embassy here for the diaspora and friends of India on Tuesday.
Before the commencement of the reception, a two-minute silence was observed to condole the loss of lives in the rail accident at Balasore, Odisha.
At least 278 people were killed and more than 900 were injured in the accident.
Highlighting the change and progress in several areas in India like infrastructure, digital services, new technology and fintech, she said India is ready to share its experiences with Suriname and help in its progress and development.
”We may be separated by geography, but we are united by our shared history and heritage. Suriname and the Surinamese people hold a very special place in our hearts. You all act as a bridge of friendship and cooperation between our two countries – in a way you are the Permanent Ambassadors of India in Suriname!,” the President said.
She said the priority of the Indian Government is to build everlasting links with the Indian Diaspora across the world.
”We are proud to see the leaders of Indian origin in Suriname reach the highest echelons of public service,” she said and referred to President Santokhi who has roots in India.
“It is a privilege for me to be part of the celebration of 150 years of the arrival of Indians in Suriname. It is a matter of pride for us that Indians have reached the highest positions in Suriname. Indians have been contributing significantly to the development of Suriname economically, socially and culturally,” President Murmu said.
She said she was happy to see how Suriname kept its culture and tradition and language alive for 150 years.
She said he held a broad range of discussions with her Suriname counterpart that will help to deepen bilateral ties.