India siding with US against China can be disastrous: Natwar

A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on his maiden visit to the United States, former external affairs minister Natwar Singh on Wednesday said that India should not unite with the US against China as it could be "disastrous".

Jaipur: A day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarks on his maiden visit to the United States, former external affairs minister Natwar Singh on Wednesday said that India should not unite with the US against China as it could be "disastrous".

"The era of superpower has gone. America is not the only superpower and its influence has come down. America would like India to come together against China but it could be disastrous," he said during an event here.

Lauding Modi for taking "good steps" in the area of foreign policy, Singh exuded confidence that the Prime Minister's visit to the United Nations and Washington will be successful.

Singh said that India will play an extremely important global role in the coming years and the present NDA government is faced with several challenges.

"Modi has taken good steps in the area of foreign policy and relations after he became Prime Minister that includes inviting heads of neighboring nations to his oath taking ceremony, attending the BRICS summit and now he will have the opportunity to meet foreign ministers and heads of several nations in the United Nations Assembly and then visit Washington," he said, adding that "the Prime Minister should visit Russia and further strengthen relations."

Modi will embark on a five-day high profile visit from tomorrow to the US during which he will have a power-packed schedule of meetings - official, business and public - apart from addressing the UN General Assembly on September 27 and bilateral talks with US President Barack Obama.

Singh, a former diplomat, said that before becoming the Prime Minister, Modi met him in February and discussed foreign issues and he told him that there was a need to strengthen relations with neighboring countries.

On relations with China, he said both India and China are mature country but the foreign relations of China are far ahead from India as it existed in traditional form.

Singh said that relations with Pakistan were "accident prone" and people of that country want good ties with India.

Criticizing former prime minister Manmohan Singh on foreign policy matters, he said, "Manmohan Singh is a gentleman, but not a leader".

While claiming to be an admirer of former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Singh highlighted three mistakes he made in context of foreign policy. He said that taking the Kashmir dispute to UN, failure in resolving border disputes with China and not taking up the opportunity of having a permanent seat in the UN Security Council were some mistakes Nehru made.

Singh was speaking at a lecture on the present NDA government's foreign policy, organised by Prabha Khaitan Foundation in memory of novelist and poet Prabha Khaitan.

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