India hopes to consolidate ties with neighbours: PM

India hopes to consolidate relations with neighbours as well as major powers in the coming years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday.

New Delhi: India is committed to "close and
good" relations with its immediate neighbours, Government said
today while highlighting its efforts to normalise ties with

In `The Report to the People 2009-10`, it said
Government`s expectation that Pakistan acts with purpose
against the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack was conveyed on
several occasions, including at the highest level.

"India reiterated the need for Pakistan to fulfil the
assurances given by its leaders not to allow the use of
territory under Pakistan`s control for terrorism directed
against India," it said.

The Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries have been
charged with the responsibility of working out the modalities
of restoring trust and confidence in India-Pakistan relations
and thus paving the way for a substantive dialogue on all
issues of mutual concern, the government said.

"India`s foreign policy aims at a global order in which
India`s overriding goals of rapid, sustained and inclusive
socio-economic development and poverty alleviation are
attained rapidly without any hindrance," it said.

To this end, India`s foreign policy has combined firm
commitment to the core national values with dynamic adaptation
to changes in the international environment, it said while
talking about objectives and achievements of UPA-II.

Under the category of `building bridges`, the report
said, "As a corollary to these objectives, India is committed
to close and good neighbourly relations with all countries in
its immediate and extended neighbourhood."

Commenting on country`s stand at various global bodies,
it said India continued to press for reform of the United
Nations, in particular, through expansion of its Security
Council to make it more democratic and representative.

India continued to play a lead role in the Non-Aligned
Movement to maintain the movement`s relevance and strengthen
its voice on international issues, it said.

The report also gave details of India`s stand on crucial
international issue of climate change, saying it has remained
actively engaged in the multilateral negotiations to build a
rule-based, transparent and equitable climate change regime
that safeguards the interests of the developing countries and
supports their endeavour for poverty alleviation and
sustainable economic development.

Referring to many initiatives such as setting up of the
SAARC Development Fund, establishment of the SAARC Food Bank,
implementation of regional projects in telemedicine,
tele-education and agriculture and conclusion of the SAARC
Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, it said
India`s commitment to its immediate neighbourhood has
revitalised SAARC.

"In foreign policy our core objectives is to secure for
India an external environment that is conducive to our
long-term economic development and to peace and stability in
our region," Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said while
presenting the report.

The report also dwelt on India`s relations and assistance
provided to neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan,
Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Referring to India`s development partnership with
Afghanistan, which has earned tremendous goodwill of Afghans
cutting across ethnic and regional lines, it said "Despite
attacks by extremist forces, India`s commitment to assisting
the people and Government of Afghanistan as they build a
democratic, pluralistic and peaceful country remains

While in Sri Lanka, India has been assisting in the
rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons in its
northern part, in Nepal, India was investing over Rs 1600
crore to construct roads in Terai area, establish two
integrated check posts and build two cross-border railway
links for better connectivity.

India has provided a Line of Credit of 1 billion USD to
Bangladesh to support infrastructure projects, including in
the areas of railway infrastructure, supply of locomotives,
coaches, buses and dredging, the report said.

It also highlighted India`s relations with other
countries including the US, the EU, Russia, Japan and China.

In pursuance of `Look East` policy, India continued to
improve and consolidate its political, economic and cultural
interaction with countries in the South East Asia and the
Pacific, both in the bilateral and the multilateral context,
it said.

Progress was made towards implementation of the India-US
Civil Nuclear Agreement and several cooperation pacts in
diverse areas such as energy, climate change, agriculture,
education, women`s empowerment have deepened the relationship,
the report said.

The strategic partnership with Russia was further
strengthened with the conclusion of several agreements to
intensify cooperation in the defence, space, energy and
science sectors.

A forward-looking framework agreement on nuclear energy
cooperation, envisaging joint collaboration in S&T, setting up
of nuclear power plants and indigenisation of reactor
component manufacturing in India, was also concluded
with Russia.

India`s relations with all countries in the West Asia
and North Africa region were strengthened further in several
areas including through movement of professionals, energy,
trade and investment, the report observed.

On India-EU ties, the report said, with a population of
around 500 million and a GDP in excess of 18 trillion USD, EU
is an important source of advanced technologies and

"This is reflected in India`s steadily increasing and
diversified engagement with the EU covering trade and
investment, S&T, education, energy, security, etc. There is
also very good cooperation at the bilateral level with
individual member states of the EU," it said.


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