1. At the invitation of the President of the Republic of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the President of the Slovak Republic Dr. Ivan Gasparovic paid a State visit to the Republic of India from 11-15 December, 2004.
  2. President Gasparovic was accompanied by Madame Silvia Gasparovicova, State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ivan Korcok, State Secretary for Economy Eva Simkova, and State Secretary of Defence Martin Fedor. The large accompanying business delegation underscored the importance the two countries attach to expanding their economic relations.
  3. During the visit, Dr. Gasparovic met with the President of the Republic of India Dr. Abdul Kalam and held talks with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. He also held separate meetings with the Vice President, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh, and Minister for Commerce and Industry, Kamal Nath. President Gasparovic also visited Mumbai, Jaipur and Agra. In Delhi and Mumbai, President Gasparovic had meetings with captains of Indian business and industry, in particular Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the All India Association of Industries (AIAI). In Delhi, the President of Slovakia participated in a ceremony to name a street after the famous Slovak leader Alexander Dubèek. The Honorary Consulate of the Slovak Republic was also opened in Mumbai in the presence of the President of Slovakia.
  4. The Presidents of the Slovak Republic and the Republic of India held extensive talks in an atmosphere of traditional friendship and understanding. These talks covered the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as detailed exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest. While reiterating their keenness to develop the bilateral relations further, they emphasized the need to promote bilateral trade and economic exchanges. Both sides attached great importance to strengthening their long-term cooperation in the political, defence, economic, commercial, cultural and science and technology areas.
  5. Both sides expressed their satisfaction over the progressive expansion and deepening of Indo-Slovak relationship in several spheres. They agreed to increase the frequency of bilateral visits by Ministers and officials and to consolidate the ties between business communities of the two countries.
  6. Both sides considered the ways for deepening bilateral cooperation so as to realize the untapped potential for mutual benefit. In this context, both sides emphasized the importance of optimal utilization of the existing bilateral mechanisms such as the Indo-Slovak Joint Committee on Economic and Commercial Cooperation and the Indo-Slovak Joint Business Council. They noted with satisfaction that the fifth Session of the Indo-Slovak Joint Committee on Economic and Commercial Cooperation held in Bratislava in October 2004 has made positive contribution in this regard.
  7. During the current visit, the following bilateral documents were signed:
    • Economic Cooperation Agreement;
    • Programme of Cooperation in the field of Culture and Arts for the period 2004-2007;
    • Memorandum of Understanding between the National Small Industries Corporation Ltd. (NSIC) and the National Agency for Development of Small & Medium Enterprises (NADSME)
  8. Both sides strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Terrorism undermines the very foundation of freedom and democracy and endangers the continued existence of tolerant, open and democratic societies. Both sides reaffirmed that no cause can justify terrorism. Consequently, there cannot be any compromise in the war against terrorism. Both sides reiterated their commitment to continue their fight against terrorism. They agreed that combating terrorism has to be a comprehensive and sustained effort.
  9. The Republic of India considers the Slovak Republic as an exceptionally friendly State and respects the political path chosen by the people of Slovakia. In this connection, the Indian side welcomed Slovakia’s membership of the European Union with which India has recently entered into a strategic partnership. Indian side lauded Slovakia gaining higher international stature and economic profile, thereby contributing suitably to world peace and prosperity.
  10. The Slovak side noted that India has always played an important role in the comity of nations. India, which is home to one sixth of humanity, has been in particular a leader in the developing world, producing numerous world leaders. Slovak side praised India as the world’s largest democratic and secular country that was increasingly visible at global arena contributing to the world peace, stability and prosperity. The Slovak side also noted the growing success of India’s economy in the past few years.
  11. Both sides affirmed that the United Nations had an important role to play in dealing with present-day challenges. Consequently, it was imperative to reform the United Nations structure to bring the same in conformity with the global realities. They were of the view that India’s permanent presence as a largest democracy in the world in an expanded UN Security Council would give it greater legitimacy and enhance its effectiveness.
  12. The President of the Slovak Republic H.E. Dr. Ivan Gasparovic extended an invitation to the President of the Republic of India H.E. Dr. Abdul Kalam to pay a State visit to the Slovak Republic. The invitation was accepted with pleasure.
  13. India and Slovakia believe that the State visit of President Gasparovic will further expand and enhance the framework of bilateral cooperation in various fields, and will contribute to strengthening the enduring friendship between the two countries.
  14. The President of the Slovak Republic expressed sincere gratitude to the President and the Government of the Republic of India for the hospitality and the excellent organization of the visit to India by the Slovak delegation.

New Delhi
December 15, 2004