Seven en­voys: Prez ac­cepts cre­den­tials in e-cer­e­mony

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - SPOTLIGHT - Saub­hadra Chat­terji let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Pres­i­dent Ram Nath Kovind be­came In­dia’s first head of state to re­ceive and ac­cept diplo­matic cre­den­tials of seven for­eign en­voys in an e-cer­e­mony, herald­ing “dig­i­tal diplo­macy” be­cause of the re­stric­tions due to the Covid-19 pan­demic.

Elab­o­rate phys­i­cal cer­e­monies for the pre­sen­ta­tion of cre­den­tials have been put on hold dur­ing the na­tional lock­down with Covid-19 pro­to­cols firmly in place at Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van and Pres­i­dent Kovind min­imis­ing his en­gage­ments. “But it was felt nec­es­sary to con­duct the cre­den­tial pre­sen­ta­tion on­line, as it is a vi­tal part of diplo­matic cul­ture which shouldn’t be over­looked,” said a se­nior Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van of­fi­cial who asked not to be named.

The am­bas­sadors of DPR Korea, Sene­gal, Côte d’Ivoire, and the high com­mis­sion­ers of Trinidad & Tobago, Mau­ri­tius, Aus­tralia and Rwanda came to

South Block on Thurs­day morn­ing and stood one by one in front of a large screen, through which Pres­i­dent Kovind wel­comed them.

These were the first batch of en­voys who pre­sented their cre­den­tials af­ter the Covid pan­demic swept In­dia lead­ing to a fed­eral lock­down since March 25. Sec­re­tary (west) of the min­istry of ex­ter­nal affairs, Vikas Swa­roop, was present with the en­voys dur­ing the cer­e­mony, the of­fi­cial cited above said.

“The en­voys read out their let­ters cre­dence and the Pres­i­dent ac­cepted them on the TV screen. They also nod­ded at the Pres­i­dent as per the pro­to­col, and some en­voys even ex­tended an in­vi­ta­tion to the Pres­i­dent on be­half of their head of state to visit their coun­tries. The Pres­i­dent ac­cepted them and, at the end, he de­liv­ered a short speech wel­com­ing them in In­dia and also men­tioned how our coun­try is fight­ing against Covid,” said a se­cond of­fi­cial aware of the mat­ter.

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