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September 20, 1979

Late King Birendra,



REPLY SPEECH FROM HIS MAJESTY KING

BIRENDRA BIR BIKRAM SHAH DEV AT A

BANQUET HOSTED IN HONOUR OF THEIR

MAJESTIES THE KING AND THE QUEEN

BY MR. NEELAM SANJIVA REDDY,

THE PRESIDENT OF INDIA



Mr. President, excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen ;


Allow me to thank you, Mr. President, for your kind words of welcome and also for the warm hospitality accorded to us and the members of our entourage.

En route to Nepal from Cuba we are indeed happy to have this opportunity, once again, to visit the friendly country of India and to exchange views with Your Excellency and other leader of the government. During this visit we also look forward to the opportunity to pay homage to some of the holy shrines and to renew our acquaintances with many of our friends and well-wishers in India.



Your Excellency, you have appropriately referred to the multiple bonds existing between our two peoples since time immemorial. I need not, therefore, elaborate on these aspects. I merely wish to add that it should be our earnest effort to make the best use of these natural affinities. In this context I am happy to say that we are satisfied with the current state of our relationship. The joint interest and initiative shown by the two governments, I am confident, will positively contribute not only to consolidating our traditional ties but also to adding new dimension and dynamism to them in the light of the needs and aspirations of today. I believe that among the important factors, which facilitated us to move in this direction, have been the recognition of mutuality of interests and our common adherence to the principles of mutual respect for sovereign equality and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. I strongly believe that the exchanges of views, which we have had with Your Excellency and other leaders, will further help in between our two countries. This, in my view, is what our two peoples wan, and this is what our two countries need.

I need not reiterate here that a country like ours with the manifold problems of under-development could hardly afford to pursue any policy other than the policy of peace, development and good neighbourliness. The cause of peace and development has therefore, become our overriding concern both in our external policies and domestic priorities.

Mr. President. since we are returning after participating in the Sixth Non-aligned Summit in Havana, it was very encouraging to see in the movement a close identity of views that our two countries have followed not only in our commit to the principles of non-alignment but also on many other issues of international importance, including the urgent need to establish a new international economic order. In this context, may I take this opportunity to express of sincere appreciation to the government and people of India who, despite their own domestic needs, have been generous in extending meaningful co-operation to Nepal.

May I now propose a toast to the health and happiness of His Excellency the President of India and Mrs. Reddy, to the peace, progress and happiness of the people of India and to the ever growing friendship between India and Nepal.



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