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India favours reforms in UN: Kalam

Sumir Kaul in Reykjavik | May 30, 2005 21:06 IST

President A P J Abdul Kalam on Monday asserted the need to reform the United Nations.

He said the changes would make the world body more compatible with contemporary realities and enable it to become democratic and transparent.

Speaking at the banquet hosted in his honour by Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Kalam said, "India and Iceland are committed to the UN charter. We believe that there is a dire need to reform the UN structure."

He appreciated Iceland's principled stand and consistent support to India's candidature for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

The President added that 'both India and Iceland share cherished values such as pluralistic democracy, human rights and freedom in a tolerant social environment'.

Referring to ties between India and Iceland, he said, "We deeply appreciate patronage of bilateral relations by Iceland since Grimsson visited India for the first time in 2000."

He added, "My government too shares your commitment to expand and deepen our ties for mutual advantage."

Kalam said the two countries could benefit bilateral trade with greater focus on mutual comparative advantages, particularly in areas such as fisheries, textiles, food articles and consumer goods.

"There are adequate possibilities to promote people-to-people contacts through tourism and cultural exchanges," the President added.

Referring to the banquet, Kalam read out a couplet of Havamal on hospitality -- "The newcomer needs fire, his knees
are numb. A man who has made his way over mountains, needs food and fresh linen."

Also read:

Indo-Swiss talks to include UN seat issue
Swiss honour Kalam, May 26 is Science Day
Kalam pens poem after visiting WWII memorial in Moscow

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