Describing ‘neighbourhood first’ as the top priority of India’s foreign policy, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said on Wednesday that we desire good relations with Pakistan, but it cannot be at the cost of our security. Addressing the inaugural session of the training project on ‘India’s Neighborhood’ at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Shringla said, “Like all important programs of the government, the ‘Neighborhood Pratham’ initiative is a significant effort. is at the top of all policy priorities.”
He said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi The Neighborhood First Policy has given top priority to our relations with Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. He said that in these countries, we are working very closely with others except with the exception of Pakistan. “We want to have good relations with Pakistan, but this cannot happen at the cost of our security,” Shringla said.
‘Peace and stability in border areas essential for the development of our relations’
Regarding relations with China, the Foreign Secretary said that we have made it clear to China that peace and stability in the border areas is essential for the development of our relations. “The development of India-China relations should be based on three common things… mutual respect, common sensitivity and mutual interest,” he said. The Foreign Secretary said that ‘Neighborhood First’ as a policy needs to be proactive in strengthening cooperation based on capacity building of our neighbors and implementation of projects.
He said that wherever possible, we should find ways to take forward and integrate the national development plans without the concerns of our allies and infringing on the sovereignty. At the same time, we must counter geopolitical realities and real threats like cross-border terrorism and crime, the Foreign Secretary said.
‘Decision to gift 50 thousand metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan’
Referring to India’s special relations with the friendly people of Afghanistan, Shringla said that in view of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, India has decided to gift 50 thousand metric tonnes of wheat to the people there and its first consignment will be sent. It’s over. He also mentioned the supply of anti-Covid-19 vaccines, life-saving drugs and winter clothing to Afghanistan. Referring to Myanmar, he said that we are connected with Myanmar, with which we have a 1700 km long border. “In our contacts, we are emphasizing on the early restoration of democracy in Myanmar in the interest of India,” the foreign secretary said.
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