Asserting that the world has “much higher” expectation from India, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has a comprehensive foreign policy outlook that reflects both the current state of the world and New Delhi’s growing role in it.
“This government has a comprehensive foreign policy outlook that reflects both the state of the world and India’s growing role in it,” Jaishankar said while speaking in Rajya Sabha.
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Responding to the question ‘when will India become a UN Security Council permanent member?’, the minister told the House: “I am realistic enough to know that it is a long and patient effort. We are not lacking in patience, perseverance and aspiration. We will get there one day. It is progressing day by day.”
“We see a multi-polar landscape unfolding over the last decade although its pace has been hastened in recent years. Our own growing capability and influence is one part of this change. It requires us to strengthen multilateralism even while engaging in more bilateral interaction,” he added.
“To shape the global agenda more effectively, India has to engage countries large & small across all regions. It is not only a matter of advancing our own national interest, the expectation that the world has from India is also very much higher,” the minister said.
“Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwaas is the guiding principle for our foreign policy as well,” he added.
The foreign affairs minister said “The prime minister conveyed that India had participated in the RCEP negotiations very sincerely and in a spirit of compromise, but was unable to finally associate itself with the RCEP agreement since the agreement in its present form does not satisfactorily address all our outstanding issues and concerns.
“The government remains firmly committed to upholding our interest in all such negotiations,” Jaishankar said.
“In the first six months of this government’s tenure, we have reemphasised our Neighbourhood First policy, reinforced our relationships with all the major countries at the highest level, worked to expand our relations with the Gulf, South East Asia and African regions,” he said.
The government had launched a new international initiative known as the coalition of disaster-resilient infrastructure and had also expressed a strong interest in fulfilling its commitments to the sustainable development goals and in reforming the multilateral system so as to make it responsive to the current requirements, he added.
In pursuing these objectives, the government had always maintained its independence and autonomy in the exercise of its foreign policy and ensured that national interests determined its foreign policy, Jaishankar said.
(With Agency Inputs)