By: Chandrashekar Bhat
INDIA said the best solution to the Ukraine conflict is to “stop the fighting” and get the warring sides to the negotiation table.
“The best way forward is to focus on stopping the fighting, getting the talking and finding ways of moving forward. We think our choices, our positions are best placed to advance that,” external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday (27).
His comments came at an interactive session at the Raisina Dialogue, India’s premier foreign policy and geo-economics conference.
Jaishankar on Tuesday (26) countered the criticism of India’s position on Russia’s actions in Ukraine, saying the Western powers have been oblivious to the pressing challenges in Asia including last year’s developments in Afghanistan.
India has not yet publicly condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine and has been calling for the resolution of the conflict through dialogue and diplomacy.
On Wednesday, Jaishankar highlighted how New Delhi played a key role in promoting democracy in south Asia.
Reflecting on areas where India came up short, the minister listed a lack of adequate attention to human resources and manufacturing and mentioned that probably not much attention was given to hard security as part of foreign policy.
Jaishankar said capability development in all possible areas should be the central focus of India in the next 25 years.
“We have to be confident about who we are. I think it is better to engage the world on the basis of 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,” Jaishankar said.
He hoped that India will be “deeply more international” in terms of its commitments, responsibilities and roles in the next 25 years.
“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 ” he said.
On the shortage of wheat in the wake of the war in Ukraine, he said, “we have a significant wheat production. We would obviously 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,” he said.