New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's “personal chemistry” has emerged as a “powerful tool” in enhancing India's diplomatic engagement and a “different approach” was very much evident in dealing with international events and situations in the last one year, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said today.
Talking about a “sense of change” the way India handles its international relations, he referred to proactive approach in dealing with the neighbourhood, China and countries of the Pacific Island as well as African nations.
“Let me mention examples that convey the sense of change. A neighbourhood policy that puts a premium on connectivity, contacts and cooperation. A China policy that triangulates security interest economic cooperation and international politics.
“The land boundary agreement with Bangladesh and the connectivity understandings have been game changers. Cooperation in power generation and post earthquake assistance in Nepal have transformed that relationship,” the Foreign Secretary said.
He was speaking at the launch of a book titled ‘Modi's World, Expanding India's Sphere of Influence', authored by noted scholar C Raja Mohan.
Harping on the personal rapport of the Prime Minister, Jaishankar said, “A personal chemistry (of Modi) has emerged a powerful tool in our diplomacy.”
He said a “coherent” Indian Ocean strategy was under implementation and that “visits to even nearby nations after decades and impending summits of the Pacific governments and African states represent the different mindset. He also referred to removal of the bottlenecks in implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
“The nuclear initiative is a matter close to my heart. It has moved back into the active terrain. We have seen a forward movement with the US France and Russia and work in progress with Australia and Japan,” he said.
Highlighting Modi's achievements on foreign policy front, the Foreign Secretary talked about the prime minister's visit to the US, China, Japan and a range of other issues including India's assistance to earthquake-hit Nepal and removing bottlenecks in implementation of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
“Think of the Madison Square and the presence of 30 members of the US Congress. Recall the meeting of President Xi Jinping in Xian. Remember Barack Obama's visit here on Jan 26 and (Modi's) bonding with Shinzo Abe in Kyoto.
“Look at Operation Rahat in Yemen or Operation Maitri in Nepal. Consider the integrated tours of Central Asia, East Asia and the Indian Ocean. So let me ask you. Does this look like diplomacy as usual?,” he asked.