Foreign policy aimed at India’s growth, security: Minister

New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS) Union Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh on Wednesday said the primary aim of India’s external affairs policy is the growth and development of the country.

“Prosperity and security are the two bookends on which we have framed our foreign policy. What we have sought across the world are partnerships of prosperity through new synergies in our flagship programmes for investment and infrastructure… the primary aim of our external partnerships has been the growth and development of India,” he said.

Singh, a former Indian Army chief, was addressing a press conference called to highlight the achievements of the the Ministry of External Affairs since May 2014 when the Narendra Modi government took office.

Speaking on the key achievements in foreign policy, Singh listed out visits by President Pranab Mukherjee, the Prime Minister and other leaders across the world and also Indian participation and successful hosting of various multilateral conferences.

Calling the trilateral agreement on the Chabahar port between India, Iran and Afghanistan as a “landmark”, the Union minister said it will be a game changer for connecting India with its extended neighbourhood, including Central Asia and Russia.

The “Heart of Asia” Conference affirmed our commitment to partnership with Afghanistan in its transition, he added. The conference was held in Amritsar, Punjab, in the first week of December 2016.

“In October, our chairmanship of BRICS culminated in an annual summit in Goa in conjunction with Bimstec. These were a resounding success for our diplomacy on a global scale,” the minister added.

India hosted the BRICS-Bimstec Outreach Summit in October in the coastal state. BRICS is a grouping of developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa whereas Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) countries are India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

–IANS

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