Swaraj pitches India’s regional co-op, connectivity

  • neighbourhood-first policy
  • ‘Completion of Trauma Centre in Nepal a milestone’
- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, New Delhi

Aug 15, 2016-

External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj has said that her government’s “neighbourhood-first policy” stresses cooperation, connectivity and greater people-to-people contact among the neighbouring countries.

Speaking at a book launch here on Sunday, Swaraj said: “By visiting virtually all our neighbours himself, many of them after a long gap, Prime Minister Modi has articulated a strong message of regional prosperity that resonates with the masses,” Swaraj said.

Modi’s visit to Nepal in 2014 was the first by an Indian prime minister in 17 years. She said the pursuit of these objectives had not been without challenges, among them cross-border terrorism. “But the wisdom of our approach and the sincerity of our efforts are clearly gaining broader support,” Swaraj said.

At a time when there are complaints that India-funded projects are not  making progress in the neighbouring countries including Nepal, Swaraj claimed that long pending projects abroad were moving forward.

“The completion of the parliament building and the Salma dam in Afghanistan, the Duriappah stadium in Sri Lanka, the Petrapole integrated check point with Bangladesh or the Trauma Centre in Nepal are some notable milestones,” she said.

The book titled “The Modi Doctrine: New Paradigm in India’s Foreign Policy” was unveiled on Saturday. Edited by Anirban Ganguly, director of the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation, Vijay Chauthaiwale, in charge of the department of foreign affairs in the Bharatiya Janata Party, and Uttam Kumar Sinha, a fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, it compiles essays related to India’s 

foreign policy after Modi came to power.

Published: 15-08-2016 09:53

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