New Delhi: Amid criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's frequent foreign tours, the government today said the trips have advanced the pursuit of secure and stable environment that India needs besides reviving long "neglected" important ties.
Making a suo motu statement on Prime Minister's recent foreign visits, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the Rajya Sabha that Modi had met around 45 international leaders from every inhabited continent of the world in the recent months.
In her statement, she said the Prime Minister had in the past few months laid out a clear vision of India's role and place in the world, signalled willingness to assume leadership expected from the world's largest democracy, and demonstrated ability to turn commitments in to action.
"We have revived important relationships that have long suffered from neglect. We have shown our will to speak clearly on our security interests and defend them robustly," she said.
The country's pursuit of global aspirations has been accompanied by global engagement, she said amid din created by opposition parties over controversial remarks made by Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.
These visits will contribute in a significant measure to the mission of accelerating economic growth, boosting investment, creating jobs and transforming the quality of life of our people, she said in the statement on the recent trips of Modi to the US, Myanmar, Australia, Fiji and Nepal.
Her justification of the Prime Minister's foreign visits came against the backdrop of criticism by some parties. RJD chief Lalu Prasad had called him an "NRI" while some leaders made some other sarcastic comments about his being away during Parliament session.