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Statement by External Affairs Minister Shri S.M. Krishna on assumption of office

New Delhi
May 23, 2009 

I am deeply honoured to assume charge of the high office of the Minister of External Affairs. We are at a moment in history when the world situation is rapidly changing and India, as a responsible power, must engage actively with the world. I am deeply conscious of the opportunities available to us and the difficulties that we face as we continue to pursue our independent foreign policy of peace and development, and strengthen our strategic autonomy.

2.In the coming years under the stewardship of PM Shri Manmohan Singh, it will be my endeavour to further advance our interest in the international arena. Our primary objective is to sustain high rates of economic growth in the range of 9 to 10% during the coming decades. For that, we require peace and tranquility in our extended neighbourhood and a supportive international environment.

3.I accord highest priority to strengthen our political, economic and cultural relations with our neighbours and look forward to visiting them soon.

4.To strengthen our policy and developmental options we will consolidate further our existing strategic partnership with major powers like USA, Russia, China, Japan and EU. Our strong and traditional ties with countries in Africa, West Asia and Latin America will be furthered and our Look East Policy strengthened.

I look forward to these challenging task in the pursuit of India's non-aligned foreign policy.

Thank you