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India’s foreign policy is now at its best says External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

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The government today said, India’s foreign policy is at its best at this time and India has good relations with the US, Russia , Germany and France,Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Palestine.

Replying to a short duration discussion on India’s foreign policy and engagement with strategic partners in the Rajya Sabha, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, now world looks towards India with high regards. She said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has brought honour to the country at the global level and he has become a leader who shapes global agenda.

Responding to members’ concern on India-China stand off on Doklam, Mrs Swaraj said,the issue can be resolved through dialogue and war is no solution. She said, India will continue to engage with Chinese side through diplomatic channels to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issue.

She said, India always believes peace and tranquility along India-China border areas are pre-requisite for smooth development of bilateral relations. Mrs Swaraj said, New Delhi will also continue to maintain close consultation and coordination with Bhutan.

On relations with Pakistan, she said, India had chalked out a roadmap for peace and friendship but it can not be one sided adding terror and talks can not go together. She said, the situation worsened after the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared LeT terrorist Burhan Wani as martyr who was killed in an encounter with Indian security forces. She said,India can not accept one belt one road initiative of China as it passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir which is an integral part of India.

On Sri Lanka, Mrs Swaraj said, India always takes fishermen issues strongly with Sri Lankan authorities and there is no question of being soft.

Earlier, initiating the discussion, Anand Sharma of the Congress called for maintaining country’s supreme interest without diluting its time-tested foreign policy. He said whenever New Delhi engages with any country, it should always keep in mind that there is a balance in the foreign relations mutually beneficial to both the sides.

Referring to the current stand-off between India and China at tri-junction in Doklam, Mr Sharma said diplomacy must be given a chance to resolve the dispute. He said China is being unusually aggressive and seems to be closing the door of diplomacy. Mr Sharma stressed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should share the outcome of his meeting with the Chinese President Xi Jingping with the members. He said Mr Modi cannot remain silent on the matters of strategic interest.

Mr Sharma also expressed concern over the increasing partnership of China in economic and military sphere with Pakistan. He said External Affairs Minister enlighten the House how the government will handle One Belt One Road, which passes through the Indian territory in Pak-occupied Kashmir. He said even India’s strategic partners like Japan, Korea, Russia and the US participated in the conference held in Beijing.

Referring to Indo-US, Mr Sharma said the NDA government failed protect its interests and could not get any assurance for H1B1 Visa for IT professionals. He also criticized the government for instability in relations with Pakistan saying that after Prime Minister’s unscheduled visit to Lahore, a series of terror attacks followed.

He urged the government to honour the commitments made with neighbouring countries. He alleged that after Prime Minister’s plan to address rallies in Nepal during his second visit, there have been increased anti-India feelings.

Mr Sharma also expressed concern over China’s increasing influence in Sri Lanka. He said of late, Russia, India’s time-tested friend is getting closer to Pakistan which is detrimental to New Delhi. He also suggested for maintaining balance in India’s relations with Israel and Palestine.

Participating in the discussion Dr. Vinay P Sahashrabuddhe of the BJP said India became role-taker to rule-maker in global arena under the leadership of Prime Minister and he took initiatives to strengthen bilateral relationship with several countries within three years.

Wherever he went abroad, he engaged with Indian diaspora in a dynamic way. Mr Sahashrabuddhe said the declaration of the International Yoga Day on 21st of June was based on Mr Modi’s initiative.

He said India has become one of the places of attraction for other countries. He said the surgical strike against Pakistan was necessary and it learned a lesson from New Delhi.

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