N ew Delhi, India ... [ANN] During a meeting with Ron D. Watts, leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in southern Asia, the President of India, Shri K. R. Narayanan commended Adventists for the contributions they are making to the country.

The president spoke knowledgeably of the Ottapalam Adventist Hospital in Kerala, since his first election to Parliament had been from that district. He also expressed his appreciation for the contribution of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency in drilling boreholes to help provide a supply of drinking water. In his conversation with Watts, the president spoke of his personal philosophy of integrity and honesty in public life.

"I was delighted to have the opportunity to meet with Mr. Narayanan," said Watts. "As leader of the world's largest democracy with 950 million people, he has a very intense schedule. I was pleased to be able to pray for him and for his responsibility in leading the people of India into the 21st century."

Watts was accompanied to the December 8 meeting by J. John Wycliffe, who works at the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. Wycliffe, who is a member of the Church's executive committee for southern Asia, comes from Kerala and is personally acquainted with the president. [Jonathan Gallagher]