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India


Foreign policy deals with contradictions, advances India's interests: Jaishankar

Foreign policy deals with contradictions, advances India's interests: Jaishankar

New Delhi, Jan 14 (UNI) External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Tuesday said the Indian foreign policy today seeks to achieve - a focus on key challenges, a broad engagement with multiple players and managing global contradictions.

".....Advancing our interests in a multi polar world and contributing to global good is what it is all about," Dr Jaishankar said addressing the inaugural session of the Raisina Dialogue 2020.

The unique conference has come a long way since it was launched five years back, he said.

"Indian foreign policy today seeks to achieve: a focus on key challenges, a broad engagement with many parties, and managing, if not leveraging, global contradictions," he said in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Dr Jaishankar said, "Five years ago, Prime Minister (Modi) you gave us a challenge. It was your view that as a rising power, India should not just be participating in global conversations organized by others. You felt strongly that it was important that we create our own platforms, organize discourses and shape narratives".

"Five years later, I can state with some confidence that we have delivered to a great measure on those expectations. Lest it encourage the organizers to rest on their laurels, let me also promise you that we will keep improving with each addition," he remarked.

The Raisina Dialogue has three key characteristics, he said adding these were - focus on the change, disruptions and rebalancing underway in the world.

"...It covers a very broad spectrum of subjects and debates. Most important, it is truly contemporary. Its participants are equally diverse. The range from policymakers and executers to thinkers and activists. The diversity addresses all yardsticks, whether of geography, demography, ideology, gender or interest".

The Minister further said 'this platform brings together representatives and individuals who you may not commonly find at the same location at the same time'.

"The exchange of perspectives that this allows could possibly grow into something more with the passage of time," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai advocated that India should play a more pro-active role in international geo-politics.

"I have been advocating for long a more pro-active foreign policy by India....," he said.

On global challenges like climate change, he said: "...We need a more humane world order".

Former Bhutanese Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay expressed concern over climate change threat and pointed out that his country is the only nation to have carbon neutral index.

"But to have only one country out of 195 to be carbon neutral is unacceptable," the former Bhutan PM said.

The former Heads of Government who took part in discussions at the inaugural session are Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Hamid Karzai, former President of Afghanistan, Stephen Harper, former Prime Minister of Canada, Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister of Sweden, Anders Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark, Tshering Tobgay, former Prime Minister of Bhutan and former South Korean PM Han Seung-soo.

External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar will take the stage for a conversation on ‘The India Way: Preparing for a Century of Growth & Contest’ on Wednesday.

"In a short span of five years, Raisina Dialogue has gained an unparalleled prominence as a global platform where different parties on a global debate share a common stage," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted earlier in the day.

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