S Jaishankar took charge, told on whose foreign policies India will work

Ananya Shroff
4 Min Read

New Delhi: Diplomat-turned-politician S Jaishankar on Tuesday began his second term as foreign minister, saying “India first” and “vasudhaiva kutumbakam” will be the two guiding principles of the country's foreign policy. He said the new government's focus will be on making India a “vishwa bandhu” (world brother) in a divided world facing conflict and tension. Jaishankar is among the BJP leaders who have been given the same ministries they held in the previous government. Several senior leaders, including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and Nirmala Sitharaman, have been given the same ministries again that they held in the previous government.

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'India will be established as a world brother'
Jaishankar said, 'Looking into the future, I certainly think that the two principles that the Prime Minister has given us – India First and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, will be the two guiding principles of Indian foreign policy.' He said, 'We are confident that together we will establish ourselves as Vishwa Bandhu in a troubled, divided world full of conflicts and tensions.'

Foreign ministers also welcomed their colleagues
Jaishankar also welcomed his cabinet colleagues Pavitra Margherita and Kirti Vardhan Singh to the Ministry of External Affairs. Margherita, a Rajya Sabha member from Assam, and Singh, who won the Lok Sabha election from Gonda constituency in Uttar Pradesh, are the new ministers of state in the Ministry of External Affairs. Jaishankar said, “It is a great honor for me, a great privilege for me that I have once again been given the responsibility to lead the Ministry of External Affairs. You all know that this ministry performed really exceptionally in the last term.”

Emphasis on India's 'neighbor first' policy
Emphasising the importance of India's 'neighbourhood first' policy, Jaishankar referred to the invitation of leaders of Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Seychelles and Mauritius to the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union Council of Ministers. “All our neighbouring countries came (to the swearing-in ceremony) and Prime Minister Modi met all of them. Our relations as neighbours will be the first and the top priority of the Modi government,” he said.

Will India demand a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council?
Asked whether the new government would seek a permanent seat for India in the UN Security Council, Jaishankar did not give a direct answer and said the country's influence is constantly growing. Jaishankar emerged as one of the leading ministers in Prime Minister Modi's previous government who did a good job, from neutralizing Western criticism over crude oil purchases from Russia in the wake of the war in Ukraine to formulating a firm policy approach to deal with China. He is also credited with bringing foreign policy matters for discussion on the domestic platform, especially during India's presidency of the G-20. Jaishankar is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat.

Jaishankar has served as India's foreign secretary (2015-18), ambassador to the US (2013-15), to China (2009-2013) and to the Czech Republic (2000-2004). He has also been India's high commissioner to Singapore (2007-2009). Jaishankar has served in embassies in Moscow, Colombo, Budapest and Tokyo, as well as other diplomatic positions in the Ministry of External Affairs and the Presidential Secretariat.

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