NEW DELHI: Highlighting the importance of peaceful dialogue, Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar, on Wednesday, once again emphasised that the best way to deal with the war in Ukraine would be to focus on “stopping the fighting and getting the talking”.
On Tuesday, Dr Jaishankar strongly countered criticism regarding India’s position in the war. During a session at Raisina Dialogue, India’s geo-economic conclave, Dr Jaishankar said that the Western powers have been oblivious to the pressing challenges in Asia including last year’s developments in Afghanistan.
“We spent a lot of time yesterday on Ukraine and I have tried to explain what our views are but also explained that in our minds the best way forward is to focus on stopping the fighting, getting them talking and finding ways of moving forward. We think our choices, our positions are best placed to advance that,” the exernal affairs minister said.
Dr Jaishankar also spoke about India’s journey after Independence while highlighting how the country played a key role in promoting democracy in South Asia.
Talking about India’s priority in the next 25 years, Dr Jaishankar said, “We have to be confident about who we are. I think it is better to engage the world based on who we are…This idea that others define us, somehow we need to get the approval of other quarters, I think that is an era we need to put behind us.”
“We should not be looking at the world with a sense of entitlement. We need to earn our place in the world and which, to a certain extent, therefore, comes to the issue of how the world benefits from the growth of India. We need to demonstrate that,” the minister added.
Talking about India’s expectations from the world, Dr Jaishankar said, “There is a lot of talk about reliable and resilient supply chains and people speak about transparency and trusted technologies. If India could do more and show the rest of the world that the world benefits by India being bigger.”
“So we need to develop stakes in our future whether the rest of the world is concerned. I think some of that is happening for strategic reasons obviously, but we need to make more of it happen especially for economic reasons,” he added.
Addressing the important issue of shortage of wheat in the global market in the wake of the war in Ukraine, Dr Jaishankar said, “We have a significant wheat production. We would go into the global markets and try to compensate for the shortfalls as much as we can. It (Egypt) is one of the countries with whom we are talking.”