New Delhi, Nov 4: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday said the UPA government has sought to bring about a “fundamental reset” in India’s foreign policy in the past nine years based on national priorities and the country’s “role and destiny in world affairs”.
Addressing the inauguration of a four-day conclave of Indian heads of missions, he also praised Indian envoys for undertaking their tasks “with modest resources and often in difficult and dangerous circumstances”.
“Over these past nine years, our government has sought to engineer a fundamental reset in our foreign policy based on our national priorities and what we believe is India’s role and destiny in world affairs.”
He said India’s foreign policy “must reflect our national priorities and concerns and be in concert with our capabilities”.
The prime minister said five principles have come to define India’s foreign policy.
These include the recognition that India’s relations with the world were increasingly shaped by its developmental priorities, and that greater integration with the world economy would benefit India.
“We are prepared to work with the international community to create a global economic and security environment beneficial to all nations.
“We recognize that the Indian sub-continent’s shared destiny requires greater regional cooperation and connectivity,” he said, and that India must “strengthen regional institutional capability and capacity and invest in connectivity”.
“Our foreign policy is not defined merely by our interests, but also by the values which are very dear to our people.
“India’s experiment of pursuing economic development within the framework of a plural, secular and liberal democracy has inspired people around the world and should continue to do so,” he said.
The prime minister said the envoys should ask themselves how the five principles were guiding their work.
He praised the external affairs ministry for adapting “well to its changing environment and emerging responsibilities”.
Around 120 ambassadors and high commissioners are attending the Nov 4-7 annual meeting whose theme is “India’s Place in Changing World Order: Where Do We See Ourselves? What Do We Wish to Achieve?”.