Swaraj opens Friendship Garden

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said that India considers Africa a part of its extended neighbourhood and that it attaches utmost importance to its economic engagement with the African countries.

“Our relationship is distinctive and owes its origin to a common past that we share, a past which witnessed struggle against colonialism and social evils like poverty and illiteracy. India considers Africa as part of its extended neighbourhood. The African continent and India are tied together in varied ways,” the minister added.

She said this after inaugurating the India-Africa Friendship Rose Garden at Shantipath in Chankyapuri. The garden has been developed by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) as a symbol of friendship between India and African nations.
“Flowers signify love, dedication, friendship and brotherhood. So we chose to build Friendship Rose garden to symbolise India-Africa friendship which in coming years is going to blossom like the flowers of this garden.

“The fragrance of the roses from this friendship garden won’t be limited to any boundaries and will cross the oceans to spread the message of love and solidarity,” she said.

H.E. Beatrice Jeanine Atallah, Foreign Minister of Republic of Madagaskar, Gennet Zewide, Ambassador of Ethopia and represantatives and high commissors and ambassadors of 54 Countries participated in the function.

Common history

Ambassador of Ethopia Zewide said that India and Africa have common colonial history and freedom of struggle.

“After independence India and Africa are also part of Non-Alignment Movement with common objective of peaceful world. Today world’s political, cultural and economical development presents before us a common cause for toghtherness,” she said and thanked NDMC for creating the Rose Garden and dedecating it to India-Africa friendship.

Speaking on the occasion, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said India and Africa were bound by a history of struggle against colonialism and injustice. He said that Indian and African countries had a common vision to cope up with the challenges of urban development, traffic and pollution.

Sushma Swaraj, Kejriwal and all the diplomats planted rose saplings. NDMC chairpersonman Naresh Kumar said the Rose Garden was developed within a month, and it had 6,000 plants of 65 varieties of roses from different parts of the country.

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