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‘India is entitled to have its own side’: External affairs minister S Jaishankar

New Delhi: External affairs minister S Jaishankar said that the country is entitled to have its own side’ and the foreign policy of the country is not sitting on the fence.  He said this while , talking on ‘Taking Friendship to the Next Level: Allies in the Indo-Pacific’.

‘I am one-fifth of the world’s population. I am what today the 5th or 6th largest economy in the world. Forget the history and civilization bit; everybody knows that. I feel I am entitled to have my own side. I am entitled to weigh my own interests, and make my own choices. My choices will not be cynical and transactional. They will be a balance of my values and my interests. There is no country in the world which disregards its interests… I am not sitting on the fence just because I don’t agree with you. It means I am sitting on my ground’, said the foreign minister.

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The External Affairs minister also made it clear that the world could no longer be ‘Eurocentric’. He asked the European countries  to shun that mindset. ‘A lot is happening outside Europe. There are so many human and natural disasters in our part of the world, and many countries look to India for help. The world is changing and new players are coming in. The world can’t be Eurocentric anymore’, said Jaishankar.

He also said that India’s foreign policy was not based on accepting a notion that it had to side with a power axis, or it belonged to another camp if it did not side with one.

External Affairs minister S Jaishankar is on a two-nation tour to Slovakia and the Czech Republic. He had earlier held discussions with Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger. Both the leaders discussed expanding bilateral relationship and cooperation in political, economic and defence  sectors. Jaishankar will also hold bilateral talks with foreign minister Ivan Korcok.



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