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India’s Foreign Policy: S. Jaishankar Charts the Course Ahead

Dr. Jaishankar acknowledged the invaluable role of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in advancing national interests.

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Dr. S. Jaishankar assumes charge as the Minister of External Affairs

Dr. S. Jaishankar, India’s Minister of External Affairs, addressed the media this morning in New Delhi, highlighting the ministry’s achievements and future vision under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership. He emphasized the transformation of the Ministry of External Affairs into a more people-centric institution and outlined strategic priorities for the future.

Reflecting on the past term, Dr. Jaishankar expressed his honor at being reappointed and highlighted the ministry’s exceptional performance. Key initiatives such as the G20 Presidency, Mande Bharat Mission, and Vaccine Maitri demonstrated India’s commitment to global health and humanitarian efforts. Operations like Operation Ganga and Operation Kaveri showcased the ministry’s readiness and responsiveness in managing crises and evacuating Indian citizens from conflict zones.

Dr. Jaishankar emphasized the transformation of the Ministry of External Affairs into a more people-centric entity under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership. This shift is evident in the improved passport services, community welfare fund support for Indians abroad, and the ministry’s proactive response to the diverse needs of Indians preparing to leave or residing outside the country. The ministry’s collaboration with other governmental departments to attract investments, promote exports, and enhance tourism flows further demonstrated its holistic approach to advancing India’s interests globally.

Looking ahead, Dr. Jaishankar identified two guiding axioms for Indian foreign policy: “Bharat First” and “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (the world is one family). These principles will steer India’s diplomatic endeavors, positioning the country as a trusted partner in an increasingly turbulent and divided world. He expressed confidence that these guiding principles would enhance India’s prestige and influence on the global stage. Dr. Jaishankar noted the steady growth in India’s role and influence, particularly within the global South, and highlighted India’s significant contributions during its G20 Presidency, such as advocating for the African Union’s membership.

Addressing priorities within the South Asian region, Dr. Jaishankar reiterated the Modi government’s commitment to the “Neighbourhood First” policy. This policy underscores the importance of strengthening relationships with neighboring countries, a priority affirmed during meetings with visiting dignitaries at the swearing-in ceremony. Dr. Jaishankar’s recent interactions with President Mohamed Muizzu of the Maldives further illustrated this commitment to fostering strong regional ties, emphasizing that neighboring relationships will remain a central focus of India’s foreign policy.

Dr. Jaishankar acknowledged the invaluable role of the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in advancing national interests. He praised the dynamism and talent of IFS officers, who have consistently risen to challenges and demonstrated unwavering dedication to the country’s diplomatic objectives.

Sri Lanka Guardian

The Sri Lanka Guardian is an online web portal founded in August 2007 by a group of concerned Sri Lankan citizens including journalists, activists, academics and retired civil servants. We are independent and non-profit. Email: editor@slguardian.org

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