The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu reached Belgrade, Serbia today (June 7, 2023) in the final leg of her State Visit to Suriname and Serbia. This is the first visit by an Indian President to Serbia. In a special gesture, she was received by President Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia and accorded a guard of honour at the Nikola Tesla Airport, Belgrade. From the Airport, the President travelled to Gandijeva Street and paid respects at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi.
Later in the evening, the President interacted with the Indian Community and Friends of India at a Community Reception hosted by the Ambassador of India to Serbia, Shri Sanjiv Kohli in Belgrade.
Addressing the gathering, the President said that India and Serbia are ancient lands. In the modern era, India’s relations with Serbia were particularly defined in the context of the Non-Aligned Movement. India and Serbia have always shared an understanding of each other’s core interests, she said, adding that based on this bilateral foundation, she would look forward to interacting with the Serbian leadership during the visit.
The President said that Serbia has been a valuable partner in India’s sustainable development cooperation programmes. On the global stage, she pointed out that India is recognized as a responsible development partner, a First Responder, and a voice of the Global South. Each of these aspects reflects our quest towards becoming a leading power, she said, and also referred to the leading role played by India on the issues related to climate action, counter-terrorism, connectivity, maritime security, financial inclusion and food security.
The President appreciated the Serbian Friends of India for their admiration and love for India. She said that their role in strengthening the friendship and understanding between India and Serbia is invaluable.