Public Diplomacy Public Diplomacy

Prime Minister's Speech at the Banquet Dinner hosted by President of Indonesia

October 11, 2013

Your Excellency President Dr. Yudhoyono,
Madam Yudhoyono,
Distinguished guests,
Friends, ladies and gentlemen,


I thank you, Excellency, for your kind words and the eloquent expression of your warmth towards India. We are deeply touched by your warm welcome and generous hospitality.

Excellency, you have led Indonesia with great vision and wisdom at a crucial time for your country and during a period of remarkable change in the region. Under your leadership, Indonesia’s democracy has been strengthened, its economy has grown, its regional role has increased and its global stature has expanded. We also see your unmistakable imprint in every milestone that India has crossed in its engagement with ASEAN.

You have been an architect of the Strategic Partnership that was established between our countries during your landmark visit to India in 2005. Your visit in 2011 as the Chief Guest at our Republic Day celebrations reaffirmed the multiple strands of ties – ancient and modern – that bind our two countries into a special relationship.

Excellency, in the long history of our civilisational interaction, our worldview has been moulded by the common spiritual heritage of Hinduism and Buddhism in the early centuries and Islam in the last few hundred years. The hearts of our peoples continue to pulsate to the beats of the Ramayana ballads. In the state of Orissa in my country, Bali Yatra, which recalls the once vibrant maritime Silk Route, is still a part of life.

We have enriched each other through art, architecture, music and language. We gave strength to each other in our struggle for freedom and in the first flush of our independence. Soon thereafter, we worked together for solidarity and unity in a world descending into division.

It is not only this rich legacy, but also an extraordinary range of shared interests that add enduring warmth and strength to our relationship today.

Both our countries, among the most populous in the world, are pluralist democracies that share development aspirations and face common challenges. We are also two major emerging economies that seek a peaceful and stable international environment to complete our transformation. We share a huge responsibility for shaping the future of our region, which is a storehouse of dynamism and optimism, but is also dealing with unsettled questions and the uncertainty of change.

In the past decade, our engagement and cooperation have grown and deepened in every field of human endeavour and every dimension of our relationship. Yet, our discussions earlier today have demonstrated the vast untapped potential for working together to mutual benefit. I am confident that, in the coming years, we shall realize this potential more fully.

Excellency, as the home of the ASEAN Secretariat, Indonesia signifies both Asia’s unity and its diversity, values that are dear to India as well. Indonesia’s foreign policy dictum of "thousand friends and no enemies" too finds an echo in India's guiding philosophy of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, that is, the entire world is one family. I have no doubt that Asia, in its resurgence, will show the world the way towards peace, harmony and prosperity. It is the spirit of harmony captured so beautifully in the song composed by Your Excellency, which was rendered this evening, that finds resonance in India and holds the promise for us in Asia and the world.

With these worlds, Excellencies, friends, ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to join me in a toast:

  • To the personal good health and happiness of His Excellency President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Madame Ani Bambang Yudhoyono;
  • To the well-being, progress and prosperity of our two peoples; and
  • To timeless friendship and partnership between India and Indonesia.

 



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