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Selected Speeches Of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I



TO PRESIDENT RAHDAKRISHNAN


Mr. President, it is with great pleasure both for Us personally and for the entire Ethiopian nation, that We find you here with Us this evening. We, and all Ethiopians with Us, join in welcoming you to our country and in conveying to the Indian people, through you, renewed assurances of the respect and friendship which join us.

The community of interest which surrounds and permeates relations between Ethiopia and India is well founded and solidly based. Trade between our nations flourishes. Indian skills and capital are participating in the development of Ethiopian industry. Indian merchants have been active in Ethiopia’s foreign and domestic commerce. Indian teachers are taking part in the vast educational programme which has been a corner-stone of Our policy for the accelerated development of Our nation. Indian officers staff Our country’s Military Academy at Harar, and others are assigned to military units elsewhere throughout Ethiopia. Indians of all levels are active in local philanthropy and community life. All Our relations with the people of India are not new but of long-standing.

We naturally take satisfaction in the effective co-operation thus achieved between our peoples. But despite all that has been realized, there is much more that can be done. There is ample room for extensive expansion of mutually beneficial and balanced trade between us, as our economies continue to develop. It is Our deep desire that direct air links between Ethiopia and India, as well as with other nations of the Far East, may soon be established. Programmes of reciprocal technical assistance can bring us even closer as new areas of joint activity are explored. These and other steps can only serve to enhance and enrich an already rewarding partnership, and We look forward to their accomplishment in the months and years ahead. We have often stated, as Our deepest and most abiding faith and conviction, the necessity for continued peace if the millions, just now emerging into the new era of progress and enlightenment which their struggles have foretold and promised, are to reap the fruits of their labours. At this crucial moment, when the spark of any local conflict can be borne on the wind to light a world holocaust capable of destroying the lives and hopes of millions upon millions of innocent men and women, the efforts of each one of us must be redoubled to guard against such a catastrophe.

Similar Ideas and Goals

We have been, not unnaturally, saddened in recent weeks as two sister states, states whose peoples should be striving together to overcome the difficulties which beset them, have been locked in bloody and deadly conflict. You know, Mr. President, that Ethiopians and Indians are dedicated to the same ideals and united in devotion to the same goals. We have stood together and proclaimed in union our common allegiance to the principles of Bandung, principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity. It has, therefore come as a source of much solace and hope to Us that India has heard and heeded the appeals which the United Nations and world leaders, Ourself among them, have made that peace be restored. We are gratified that a ceasefire has been effected on the battlefields on which India and Pakistan have opposed one another and it is Our hope that the ceasefire would be lasting and permanent. We are confident that, in the same spirit in which strife and bloodshed have been halted, an acceptable and honourable solution can be found to the problems facing India and her neighbour.

During the few days you will spend with us, Mr. President, We trust that you will come to appreciate the special qualities of Our land and its people.

The bonds which link us are already close, but it remains nonetheless important that we both know at first hand something of the problems and experiences which we share. In this manner, We shall strengthen and solidify the unity of interest which is essential to the creation of an ever broader base for our united action. Ethiopia and India have much to accomplish together, and We are confident that your visit will open up new ways for us to travel forward in harmony.

We must not let this occasion pass without recalling the memories of those days when We visited the great Republic of India; of the tumultuous welcome which greeted Us there, and the lavish and outstanding generosity with which Our initial reception was hour by hour sustained and supplemented. We hope that these short days you are sharing with us, Mr. President, although they might not be as wonderful a reception as it was when We visited India, will serve in some small measure to reciprocate for what We experienced then.

May We now propose this toast to the furtherance and growth of the existing warm friendship between the Indian and Ethiopian peoples; to the universal acceptance and enrichment of the principles of reason and conscience which [confer] upon Your Excellency the degree of Doctor of Letters, to the long life and good health of Our honoured guest, President Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan.

October 12, 1965.


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Electronic edition created and published online by members of the
Emperor Haile Sellassie First Theocracy Reign
Order of the Nyahbinghi

January 18, 2017