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'India's foreign policy has a strong multilateralist cast'

February 7, 2009
"At their most general, the goals of India's foreign policy are no different from those of other countries -- we seek peace and prosperity, or security and development. Our foreign policy seeks to encourage and create an external environment that furthers these goals.

At the same time, India's particular nature, history, geography and circumstances shape the unique cast of India's foreign policy and give it certain particular characteristics:

> India's size, challenges and choice of political values are, to a very great extent special to us.

> Twenty five years of 6% growth have made a difference to India and given our foreign policy certain capabilities, but we still have a considerable distance to travel. To abolish mass poverty in India by 2020 we need to keep our economy growing at 8-10% each year.

> India is and will remain a developing country for a considerable period; therefore, nation-building or the socio-economic transformation in India must be the primary concern of our foreign policy.

> As a consequence India's foreign policy has a strong multilateralist cast. It recognizes that security in today's world is indivisible. Equally, the pursuit of development and prosperity requires collective international effort.

Image: A view of crowded street in Bangalore, the city of promise and a technology hub.
Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

Also see: 'A sovereign nation has every right to safeguard itself'
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