Ambouli [Djibouti], October 4 : India is on a high growth trajectory, said President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday, while addressing nearly 200 Indians in Djibouti, 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.

Adding to this, on his first overseas visit after assuming office, the President of India 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.

President Kovind also stressed on the strategic location of Djibouti and focused on the country's role in evacuating Indians during the Yemen crisis.

"Djibouti is a strategically located country, just off the Gulf of Aden. It is an important Indian Ocean partner country for India. During the Yemeni crisis of 2015, Djibouti was supportive of Indian efforts to evacuate Indian citizens, and those of other countries, as part of Operation Rahat, and offered use of an air strip."

He also emphasised 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.

(Posted on 04 October 2017, 1686143518 172O70O174O99)