NEW DELHI: At his first public event after becoming the Union External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, said most Indians recognise that India’s global stature has risen in the last five years and this played a role in the NDA government retaining power for a second consecutive term. A “global rebalancing” is taking place and its “sharpest manifestation” is the rise of China and, to an extent, the rise of India as well,” Jaishankar said during an interaction at a seminar.
“A large majority of people in India recognised that India’s stature in the world has risen in the last five years,” the minister said, adding that the government has kept alive and perhaps even strengthened expectations of change in India.
Jaishankar also said India will aim to enhance regional cooperation under the BIMSTEC grouping as there have been certain problems with SAARC. He said implementation of developmental projects in neighbouring countries and elsewhere will be one of his key focus areas. He also said regional connectivity is going to be a key priority for India and BIMSTEC could be a key vehicle for economic prosperity and regional integration.
With speculation over a meeting between PM Narendra Modi and Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek next week, the MEA on Thursday clarified that no bilateral meeting has been planned between the two. The buzz on the meet was created after the visit of Pakistan Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood to New Delhi days after a telephonic conversation between the PMs.
“To best of my knowledge, there is no bilateral meeting being planned between the prime minister and PM of Pakistan on the sidelines of the SCO summit,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. Modi and Khan are scheduled to attend the annual SCO summit on June 13-14. On Pakistan Foreign Secretary’s ongoing visit, Kumar said it is his personal trip and no meeting has been planned with Indian officials.
Two-day Bhutan visit
EAM Minister S Jaishankar will embark on a two-day visit to Bhutan from Friday, his first overseas trip after assuming charge. He will call on Bhutan PM Lotay Tshering & meet his counterpart Tandi Dorji
Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Thursday sought the intervention of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for the release of 10 Odia people stranded in Dubai