India on Wednesday celebrated its 73rd Republic Day to mark the day when in 1950 the country adopted its Constitution, and gained “its freedom from two centuries of colonial rule.”

A Republic Day parade was held in New Delhi on Wednesday including a motorcycle team of the country’s Border Security Force (BSF), Indian Air Force, Indian Navy, and National Army.

Separately, via social media, Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi also thanked world leaders for their greetings on India’s special day. 

In an event in the Turkish capital Ankara, India’s Ambassador to Turkiye Sanjay Panda addressed a large crowd of attendees and said: “On this day, we pay tribute to those who struggled to give India its freedom from two centuries of colonial rule.”

Marking the day as a “special day, celebrated by nearly 1.4 billion Indians in India and over 32 million Indian diaspora the world over,” Panda said: “It was on this day in 1950, we celebrated our first Republic Day, proudly embracing our republican values built on a strong democratic foundation.”

Pointing to the “deep historical, civilizational and cultural connect” that Turkiye and India share, he added: “As major international players committed to multilateralism, either at the UN or as G20 members, it is in our mutual interest to actively explore avenues of collaboration to find solutions that will benefit our peoples.”

“It is high time that we put aside external issues that distract us from our larger goals. It is time now for India and Turkey to realise their full potential as natural partners in the 21st century,” he added.

Sedat Onal, Turkiye’s deputy foreign minister, also attended the event as the guest of honor. 

Speaking at the event, Onal noted the significance of India both globally and regionally “with its vibrant economy and dynamic population.” 

Stressing that “Turkiye and India play important roles to further global agenda for a better world” as two G20 countries, Onal further stated that the two countries are “two friendly nations with strong historical bonds.”

Saying that “dialogue and engagement are building blocks for effective regional cooperation,” Onal cited his country’s Asia Anew Initiative and said: “Our Asia Anew Initiative follows through this understanding and can help realize our true common potential.”

“Indeed, India is our largest trade partner in South Asia. Our trade volume last year reached almost $9 billion, and we hope to meet the $10 billion goal this year. We also wish to promote our people-to-people contacts by regaining the momentum that had been created in the tourism sector before the pandemic,” he added.

Turkiye launched its Asia Anew initiative in 2019 to improve ties with Asian nations in various areas.

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