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Indian community forging deep people-to-people ties with Iceland: President Ram Nath Kovind

File photo: President Ram Nath Kovind. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

ANI Reykjavik, Iceland Sep 10, 2019, 09.15 AM (IST)

The Indian community in Iceland are forging deep people-to-people relations with the Nordic country, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Monday.

Terming the Indian diaspora as 'cultural ambassadors', the President applauded them for contributing to the local society through their advanced skills and knowledge.

"We live in an age defined by knowledge, technology, and digital space. These represent new markers of our growing ties with Iceland. We are proud of your achievements. You convey an image of India that is highly mobile and highly skilled," Kovind said while addressing a gathering of the Indian community.

He underlined that yoga is immensely popular in Iceland, saying that the people of the tiny Nordic country understand the value of living in harmony with nature and oneself which are basic to the exercise.

The President called upon the Indian community to make efforts to promote Ayurveda and traditional knowledge system across the world.

Expressing happiness that Hindi would be now taught at the University of Iceland, Kovind said that the move would strengthen cultural understanding between the two countries.

Highlighting the initiatives done by the government, Kovind said, "We have set a target to become a five trillion-dollar economy by 2025. Through Jal Jeevan Abhiyaan, we are working to provide clean tap drinking water to every rural household by 2024."

The Ayushman Bharat scheme is providing health benefits to approximately 500 million people. We are committed to sourcing 175 GW of electricity from renewable sources by 2022 and we are well on our way to achieve this goal," he added.

The President said that India is looking at Iceland on how to tap geothermal energy.

"In the last five years, we have rescued over 90,000 Indians and nationals of 50 other countries caught in natural disasters or humanitarian situations overseas. As a result of these efforts, our people have new confidence in the government," Kovind remarked.

The President invited the Indian community to visit the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Earlier, Kovind interacted with an Indian business delegation. During his visit, Kovind will hold talks with his Icelandic counterpart Gudni Th. Johannesson and Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir.

He will address the India-Iceland Business Forum on September 11. He will also deliver a lecture at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik on 'India-Iceland partnership towards making a greener planet'.

This is the first visit of an Indian President to Iceland since the visit of former President APJ Abdul Kalam in 2005. During his nine-day official trip to Europe, Kovind is also slated to visit Switzerland and Slovenia.

Story highlights

He underlined that yoga is immensely popular in Iceland, saying that the people of the tiny Nordic country understand the value of living in harmony with nature and oneself which are basic to the exercise.