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Not Being Part of Any Alliance Bolsters India’s Global Standing: Jaishankar

© PRABIN RANABHATIndia's External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar walks out after the meeting of the Nepal-India joint commission in Kathmandu on January 4, 2024.
India's External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar walks out after the meeting of the Nepal-India joint commission in Kathmandu on January 4, 2024. - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.03.2024
The top Indian diplomat is on an official visit to South Korea and Japan to discuss New Delhi's bilateral ties with both the East Asian nations.
India External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar has said that New Delhi’s reputation in the world has been bolstered because of its choice to not be part of a formal alliance.
“I don’t agree that strong alliances enhance global standing and loose alliances don’t,” the Indian foreign minister said at an interaction with South Korean diplomats at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy (KNDA) in Seoul on Tuesday.
Jaishankar highlighted the example of India's G20 presidency to underscore the point that New Delhi was able to forge a consensus among the 20 leading economies as it wasn't part of any bloc as such.
“On the contrary… Take the example of G20. At the beginning of our presidency, people were worried that we would be able to get an agreement. We had two problems. One was the Ukraine conflict and the other was a development issue… The Global South had concerns and if the developed countries would agree,” the top Indian diplomat stated.
Jaishankar remarked that reaching a consensus on the final outcome document at the New Delhi Leaders' Summit would have been impossible if New Delhi had been in an alliance.
"We do see, in many ways, that India is playing a very useful role as a bridging country which is able to contribute and address problems... And I think that, unfortunately, the state of the world requires such services," he stated.
Jaishankar also remarked during the interaction that India used to be "defensive" about its foreign policy choices in the past.
"We are doing it more confidently now," he said, doubling down on New Delhi's stance on maintaining an independent foreign policy, or strategic autonomy.
The remarks come against the backdrop of continued western pressure on India to influence its oil purchases from Russia, a time-tested defence and strategic partner for New Delhi.
Not only has India rejected the pressure by the US-led camp, it has instead significantly expanded the scope of the overall bilateral relationship with Moscow in line with emerging geopolitical changes.
Oil Rig in the Bavlinsky District of the Republic of Tatarstan - Sputnik India, 1920, 29.02.2024
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