As India marks the 73rd Republic Day on Wednesday, its mission in Turkiye held an event to celebrate the day when the country gained “its freedom from two centuries of colonial rule.”

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

“It was on this day in 1950 we celebrated our first Republic Day, proudly embracing our republican values built on a strong democratic foundation,” he said. 

Panda underscored the “deep historical, civilizational, and cultural connect” that Turkiye and India share.

“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 realize their full potential as natural partners in the 21st century,” the Indian diplomat said.

Turkiye’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal also attended the event as the guest of honor. 

He stressed the significant role India plays both globally and regionally “with its vibrant economy and dynamic population.” 

Turkiye and India, he said, “play important roles to further global agenda for a better world” as two G20 countries. They are “two friendly nations with strong historical bonds,” he added.

Onal pointed out dialogue and engagement as “building blocks for effective regional cooperation”. 

“Our Asia Anew Initiative follows through this understanding and can help realize our true common potential,” he said. Turkiye launched its Asia Anew Initiative in 2019 to improve ties with Asian nations in various areas.

“Indeed, India is our largest trade partner in South Asia. Our trade volume last year reached almost $9 billion and we hope to realize the $10 billion goal this year,” he added.

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

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