PRIME Minister Narendra Modi has made significant changes to India’s foreign policy, emphasising Delhi’s close ties with the US, Australia, Japan and other major Western nations. At the same time, the policy of Padosi Pratham or neighbour first, is also in play prominently. This was evident right from the beginning when the Prime Minister invited the leaders of all Saarc countries for the swearing-in ceremony of his Government in May 2014.
Since then, his worldview and vision have only got enlarged with each passing year. Reviving traditional ties, re-establishing strategic ties and reaching out to Indians living abroad have become the hallmarks of PM Modi’s diplomatic strategy.
A strong believer in the principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which is now the theme of India’s G20 presidency also, India under the leadership of PM Modi provided vaccines to more than 150 countries during the Covid crisis, which was appreciated worldwide as ‘Vaccine Diplomacy’.
The special warmth and respect which the visiting heads of nations are receiving from the Modi Government is finding reciprocity from their side as well. Nations are now keen to take relations with India to a new height in economic, social, cultural and many other spheres. An exceptional attachment and understanding of relationship is visible between India and Japan. On regional issues, especially peace in the Indo-Pacific region, the vision of the two countries is clear. Due to the expansionist designs of China, this area has been in the headlines in recent years and China’s bullying is a cause of concern not only for India and Japan but for other countries in the region as well.
India has always wanted the Indo-Pacific region to prosper. It believes that the resources available here should be used for the betterment of smaller countries in the region. Japan is the most important country in Indo-Pacific. Joining India will boost Japan’s confidence and it will be able to give a more comprehensive form to prosperity here. There was a detailed discussion on this between PM Modi and Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, during his recent visit to India. While India is presiding over G20 this year, Japan is presiding over G7 and this is an important moment in history for both the nations. Joining forces with India will boost Japan’s confidence and India can reduce China’s dominance.
Another developed nation whose premier visited India recently is Italy. A new chapter in bilateral relations began between the two nations during the visit of Italian Prime Minister, Georgia Meloni. PM Modi and Meloni held talks on March 2 at Hyderabad House in New Delhi which led to the two countries becoming strategic partners.
Similarly, India has a 75-year-old friendship with Australia. Prime Minister Albanese visited India for the first time after the formation of the Labour Party Government in Australia. The purpose of his visit was to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries. Accompanying him was Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell and Resources Minister Madeleine King, along with a high-level business delegation. Focus was on finalising the trade deal. Surely the friendship between these countries will not only create a new dimension, but also redefine global relations.
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