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Address by External Affairs Minister at the Mudam, Luxembourg

June 19, 2018

Distinguished Guests,
Members of the Indian Diaspora in Luxembourg,
Friends of India,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to be here today to address you on my first visit to Luxembourg as External Affair Minister of India.

It has been just a few hours since I landed in Luxembourg and already the Grand Duchy has charmed me with the beauty of its lands and the friendliness of its people.

This year, India and Luxembourg will celebrate 70 years of Friendship. I bring with me the good wishes of the Government and people of India.

India’s close and cordial friendship with the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is based on a firm foundation of shared values and common interests. Ours is a trust-based relationship that stems from our respect for freedom, democratic principles, and rule of law.

In India, Luxembourg is admired for the versatility of its steel sector, its picturesque countryside, the industrious nature of its people, and the sophistication of its fin-tech sector. We see Luxembourg as a prosperous and progressive society that attaches primacy to its role as a welfare state, encourages entrepreneurship and innovation and takes pride in being multilingual and multicultural.

The Luxembourgish heritage of Robert Schuman, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, was instrumental in setting the tone and tenor of European integration. A strong and unified successful European Union is vital to the stability and progress of the Eurasian region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

India attaches great value to its friendship with Luxembourg.

As we look back on the 70 years of our friendship, we see a close and fruitful relationship based on shared values, interests and synergies.

Ours is also an all-weather friendship that is based on mutual trust. Luxembourg has been consistently supportive of India at the United Nations.

Luxembourg has consistently expressed support for India’s permanent membership of the Security Council.

By opposing the embargo against India following our peaceful nuclear tests of 1998, Luxembourg demonstrated the trust it has in India as a responsible nuclear power.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Paul Wurth’s presence in India since 1993 has significantly contributed to the development of India’s steel sector.

Chennai is the Indian hub for Luxembourg’s cargo airline Cargolux which has helped in trade facilitation between India and Europe.

It is a matter of pride for India that the Luxembourg Stock Exchange was the first to globally list Masala Bonds in 2008.

Our trade and investment ties are also on the rise.

In the 70th year of our friendship with Luxembourg we look forward to enhanced engagement in our priority areas such as Green bonds, Fintech, outer space and research.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am happy to know that Indian dance, music and films are gaining popularity in Luxembourg. I am delighted to know that every year Indians and Luxembourgians come together to celebrate Indian festivals including Pongal and Diwali. The small but vibrant Indian Diaspora in Luxembourg has been instrumental in initiating Luxembourg to Indian culture.

My Indian brothers and sisters in Luxembourg - through your diligence and competence, you have won the admiration of the Luxembourg society. And you have made your homeland proud.

I am confident that in the coming years you will play a pivotal role in enhancing India’s bilateral relationship with Luxembourg.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I take this opportunity to thank the Government and people of Luxembourg who have accorded me a very warm welcome.

I will return to India, confident of the bright future of India’s bilateral relationship with Luxembourg.

Later this week Luxembourg will celebrate its national day. The Government and people of India join me in wishing all Luxembourgians a very happy national day! Long live India-Luxembourg Friendship! Long live India-Europe Friendship!

Thank you!


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