Economic, cultural ties discussed during President Klaus's state visit to India
The Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, is on a weeklong state visit to India. Mr Klaus is the second Czech president to go to the country, after Vaclav Havel who was there in 1994. Mr Klaus himself visited India six years ago as chairman of the lower house. This time, Mr Klaus is travelling with a Czech business delegation, and economic relations between the Czech Republic and India are high on the agenda.
"We discussed economic issues, traditional relations, trade relations and investment possibilities. We think we have something to offer to the Indian economy. We discussed the energy sector, the infrastructure investments, especially the railway system, and so on."
Mr Klaus also spoke in favour of a simplification of the visa regime with India.
The Czech Republic and India have a tradition of political and cultural ties - Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru paid a visit to the then Czechoslovakia in the 1970s. The Nobel Prize laureate, poet Rabindranath Tagore, visited Czechoslovakia on several occasions in 1920s and in 1930s and his literary works strongly influenced Czech culture of that period. The Visva-Bharati University, founded by Tagore, will honour Mr Klaus with an award for his activities in international politics and economics.
"We also know that Charles University in Prague was one of the earliest to establish a chair in Sanskrit and that Indian languages, including Bengali, are being studied by students, scholars and academics in the Czech Republic."
On Wednesday, President Klaus delivered a speech at the Liberty Institute in New Delhi entitled "Dubious Attitudes of Western Countries Vis-a-Vis Eastern Countries" and later this week he is due to meet leaders of the opposition.
At the end of the week, President Klaus's delegation will assist in the opening of a new assembly line for the Skoda Auto factory in Aurangabad and will visit a Tatra truck factory in Bangalore.