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Modi diplomacy proactive, strong and sensitive: Minister

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj along with Minister of StateV.K. Singh and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh at a press conference inNew Delhi on Monday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena  

The Narendra Modi government’s diplomatic initiatives have been “strong, proactive and sensitive,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, presenting the track record of her Ministry at a press conference.

The Minister said the primary focus of the Modi foreign policy has been the neighbourhood followed by the Look East policy of reaching out to ASEAN countries and beyond.

Elaborating on the “strength” of the government’s diplomacy, the Minister said it has been made clear to China that while India accepts One China policy, China must adopt a ‘One India’ policy and be aware of the Indian sensitivities regarding its claim over Arunachal Pradesh.

“When (U.S.) Secretary of State John Kerry came visiting, we told him that friendship and surveillance cannot go together; and Pakistan has been told that if they talk to separatists, they cannot be talking to India,” the Minister said, pointing out that the government has not shied away from being tough whenever required.

Evacuation of Indian students from Ukraine and workers from Iraq and Libya was pointed out as a demonstration of a “sensitive” diplomacy of the Modi government.

The Minister said the Modi government has been “proactive from the first day,” with the “bold initiative” of inviting SAARC leaders to its swearing-in. The Minister said the focus on the neighbourhood continued with Mr. Modi choosing Bhutan for his first foreign visit and Nepal for the second. “My own first visit was to Bangladesh,” the Minister pointed out.

Ms. Swaraj said the second focus of the government has been the ‘Look East policy.’ She pointed out the PM’s Japan visit, the Vice President’s China visit and her own visits to Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam, visits of the Foreign Ministers of China and Singapore and the Australian PM to India as proof of the success of this policy.

Ms. Swaraj said the third focus area of the government has been the Persian Gulf where seven million Indians are working. Latin America and Africa also remain in focus of Indian diplomacy, and the next Indo-Africa summit will have all 54 African nations participating in it, the Minister said.

Referring to Mr. Modi’s forthcoming meeting with the U.S. President Barack Obama on September 30, she said “it will be a strong government that will be speaking to President Obama.”

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 12:06:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/modi-diplomacy-proactive-strong-and-sensitive-external-affairs-minister-sushma-swaraj/article6391938.ece

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