India, Croatia ties to grow further: Ansari



Dubrovnik (Croatia): Recalling historical links between India and Croatia, Vice President Hamid Ansari today said the bilateral relations would grow further, a day after Zagreb extended full support to New Delhi's bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

"I have just concluded my visit to Zagreb where I have held extremely constructive and friendly meetings with the President of Croatia Ivo Josipovic, Speaker of Sabor Luka Bebic and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor.

I am confident that the friendly bilateral relations between our two countries would grow further for the mutual benefit of the peoples of our two countries," Ansari said while speaking during the reception hosted in his honour by Dubrovnik city Mayor Andro Vlahusic.

Lauding the beauty and hospitality of the city and the residents, Ansari said, "Dubrovnik has been an active trading centre throughout history and has produced many explorers, merchants, bankers and mariners of repute. I must compliment you for the excellent manner in which the rich historical legacy of this beautiful city, spanning many centuries, has been maintained.

The fact that Dubrovnik attracts millions of tourists every year from all over the world is testimony to the glory of Dubrovnik's past and the friendliness of its residents," he said.

"I am also happy to learn that despite its distance, Dubrovnik has left its imprint on India. Seafarers from this city have been known to travel to Goa in the middle of the 16th century for trade and ship building."

They also constructed a church in the village of Gandaulim, replicating the church of St Blaise or Sao Braz, the Patron Saint of Dubrovnik. It is said that the church bell was brought from Dubrovnik, Ansari said.

"In recent times, we have had high level interaction between our countries and former President of India Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan visited Dubrovnik in 1965. I am happy to maintain this important and historical link between Dubrovnik and India," he said.

The Vice President recalled his personal association with the beautiful city when he said, "the city of Dubrovnik is in my thoughts at work, as a beautiful painting of the city adorns my chamber in the Indian Parliament."

Ansari, who is in Croatia on a two-day visit received full support for India's bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council.

PTI