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MEA Official spokesperson's remarks on EAM'S Address to Joint Meeting of Council of Foreign Relations and Asia Society in New York

New Delhi 
September 22, 2005

The External Affairs Minister, K. Natwar Singh, addressed a joint meeting of the Council of Foreign Relations and the Asia Society in New York on 21st Sept, 2005. In his remarks, EAM noted the enormous growth that India had made economically and the impact this has had on foreign policy. He spoke of our democratic record as a nation of a billion people for which there was no parallel in human history. India today celebrates its diversity, pluralism and secularism. He traced the origins of India’s foreign policy and explained the strong domestic roots of our non-alignment. The Minister underlined that we have always followed an independent policy and will continue to do so, guided by our national interest and strategic calculations.

EAM also brought out the importance of the strategic relationship that India has established with the United States, as indeed with other major powers. He described Prime Minister’s visit to Washington as a definig moment in our ties that have opened doors previously closed to us. He expressed appreciation of the role of the Indian community in the US in bringing the two countries closer. India and the United States share common values and have converging interests that make us natural partners. Our ties have attained a high degree of maturity and the two countries are currently in a position to engage in a constructive and candid dialogue on major international issues. 

EAM also made reference to the reform of the United Nations and the G-4 initiative. He expressed the hope that there would be a more wide spread recognition of the need for expansion of the UN Security Council and an appreciation of the contributions that India could make in this context.