External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday addressed an annual press conference on the achievements of her ministry over the last two years.
From improved ties with Saarc nations as well as the Modi government’s attempt to bring in more FDI from across the world, Swaraj spoke vividly on the initiatives and achievements by the External Affairs Ministry since she assumed office.
The minister exuded confidence that it will get membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and clarified it won’t oppose the application of any other country.
Sushma Swaraj said India would not oppose any other application for entry into the NSG but underlined the final decision should be decided on merits.
Here are some of the highlights from Sushma Swaraj conference today:
- NSG entry is crucial for India’s energy policy. China is not protesting membership of India in NSG, it is only talking of criteria procedure.
- Not correct to say that in a bid to secure membership in NSG, we have disregarded Saarc
- It will be injustice on my part to say that Indians held in Iraq are dead. We are trying for their early release
- Incidents of violence in Bangladesh unfortunate. Bangladesh government is taking strong action against it
- NIA has not been denied permission to go to Pakistan and probe. Pakistan has only asked for time to conduct a proper probe from their end
- Our engagement with the United States has increased but not at the cost of the nation’s interest. We also stage protests against them as and when required
- ED sent us an extradition request for Vijay Mallya, our team suggested few changes which has been sent to ED
- Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pak have not been cancelled, but we are only awaiting probe from Pakistan side on Pathankot attack
- We are trying to ensure that India becomes a member of NSG by the end of this year itself
- NSG entry is crucial for India’s energy policy. China is not protesting membership of India in NSG, it is only talking of criteria procedure-confident China will back India
- We have decided to reach out to almost all countries in the world with help of state governments and Cabinet Ministers. We can’t bring in FDI sitting at home. This year we have contacted 140 countries, we will contact 65 more nations.
- Aaj jab Bharat bolta hai, duniya sunti hai (Today when India speaks, the world listens)
- The minister said since the Modi government took charge in May 2014, there had been a substantial FDI inflow.
- As much as $55 billion or Rs 369,000 crore has come through the FDI route in the last two years. It is about a 43 per cent jump over what it was during the UPA rule.
- The foreign outreach had helped India enlist assistance of global players like the US, France, Germany and England in flagship schemes like ‘Smart Cities’
- With Australia alone, we had 13 agreements on skill development, there had been cooperation with countries such as Germany and Japan for ‘Namami Ganga’ programme.