Panaji, Jan 11
An emotional Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa on Wednesday said his trip to India was not "just one more visit to a foreign country" and cited his father's writings to express his love for his homeland, Goa.
Costa, who is the first head of government of Goan origin, said he was honoured by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to visit India.
"I feel proud visiting my father's land. This visit is strongly emotional for me. My father went to Lisbon but never left Goa because Goa never left him," Costa said, during a civic reception, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries for him in the state capital.
"Goa was always present in his works. When I speak of my father, I am reminded of one character in one of his works that says 'Wherever I go or am taken, I will always be in my homeland'," he said, after releasing the English translation of his father, Orlando Costa's Portuguese play "Sem Caras Nem Coros".
Orlando Costa was born in the Portuguese colony of Mozambique in 1929, but his family migrated to Goa, whose tropical shores he later left at the age of 18 for Lisbon.
The Portuguese Prime Minister who arrived in India on a seven-day state visit last week has already met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and has visited Bengaluru and Gujarat during his official tour.
"As a person of Indian origin, I was honoured by the invitation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pay a state visit to India. This is not just one more visit to a foreign country," he said.
During his stay in Delhi, Costa's high-level delegation has already worked out various pacts dealing with defence, security, IT, and renewable energy sectors.
He is expected to leave for Lisbon early on Friday.