Sat, Mar 25, 2017 | updated 01:23 PM IST

'Toughest problem in India's foreign policy is its immediate neighbourhood': Foreign Secy

Updated: Sep 02, 2016 11:40 IST

Singapore, Sept.2 (ANI): Stressing on good relations with the neighbouring nations, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar hinting at Pakistan today said the toughest problem in India's foreign policy is its immediate neighbourhood.

Responding to a poser at the Indian Ocean Conference 2016, Jaishankar said, "The toughest problem in our foreign policy is our immediate neighbourhood. When we say neighbourhood first, it's not an expression of optimism, it is an expression of priority and we know that there is tough work to be done in the neighbourhood."

He also stated the India's bilateral relations with Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka have improved significantly in the recent past.

"India is a country big enough to work its neighbourhood and work beyond. If we don't sensibly harmonise with our neighbourhood, we will not have the credibility to work beyond," he said.

"Any Indian government in the conceivable future will keep pushing the neighbourhood first and certainly address issues like connectivity because if you cannot travel from country to country, probably we all travel across the world but look at the state of South Asia, it is the most difficult part of the world to get around in and there's a reason for it. I think it is incumbent on the countries of South Asia to ask themselves is this the face we want to show?" he added.

The Foreign Secretary also heaped praise on the Association for South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), saying it has played a unique role in creating a collective platform.

"ASEAN may come under stress, it may talk out its way out of it but the fact is it is still the best game in town. ASEAN has been actually a nucleus around which there is a much larger Asian coagulation. That I think is a value of ASEAN which should be recognised. Today, not just ASEAN, I think non-ASEAN states also have a high stake in the unity and coherence of ASEAN and in ASEAN continuing in as a body to provide the kind of leadership that it has provided in Asia," he said. (ANI)

Guangzhou, [China], Mar. 25 (ANI): At least nine people were killed and two others sustained injuries after an operation platform collapsed at a power plant in south China's Guangdong Province on Saturday.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.], Mar. 25 (ANI): After facing major embarrassment by having to pull the heath care bill, it has emerged that President Donald Trump is upset with his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner for being notably absent during the crucial week.

Full Story >>

Beijing [China], Mar. 25 (ANI): Beijing has said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a new cooperation framework set up to pursue long-term development of the region.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 25 (ANI): Pakistan has expressed hope that Afghanistan will work through the agreed mechanism for preventing cross-border terrorism and enhancing bilateral interaction in different areas.

Full Story >>

London [U.K.], Mar. 25 (ANI): A motion was passed in the British Parliament condemning Islamabad's announcement declaring Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth frontier, saying the region is a legal and constitutional part of Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan since 1947.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.], Mar. 25 (ANI): National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the Pentagon to discuss the importance of the U.S.-India relationship and the role of both nations in cooperating to uphold international laws and principles.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Mar. 25 (ANI): The recent incident of violence at Punjab University in Pakistan on March 22, perpetrated by the members of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) student wing, Islami Jamiat Taleba (IJT), again raised the question as to why successive provincial and central authorities in Pakistan have not clamped down on the criminal activities of this radicalised student body.

Full Story >>

London [U.K.], Mar. 25 (ANI): A joint investigation by Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism command and MI5 led to new arrests on Thursday in London, Birmingham and Manchester, in connection with Wednesday's terror attack in Westminster, with two people still in custody.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], Mar. 25 (ANI): Amid the controversy surrounding the Kremlin's involvement in last year's race for the White House, former U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has remarked that while President Donald Trump might have been talking about winning, it was Russian President Vladimir Putin who was actually winning.

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Mar. 25 (ANI): The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the bomb blast at a police outpost near Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport intersection here.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 25 (ANI): The Punjab University on Friday banned curricular and extracurricular activities of all student organisations on the premises of the university here.

Full Story >>

Islamabad [Pakistan], Mar. 25 (ANI): A forum of ambassadors from Muslim countries, who met in the federal capital of Pakistan, on Friday unanimously decided to protect the sanctity and dignity of Islam and the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said the entire Muslim ummah is united for the same.

Full Story >>

Lille [France], Mar. 25 (ANI): At least three people have been reported injured in a mass shooting in France's Lille, as reported by The Telegraph.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 25 (ANI): North Korea is ready for its sixth underground nuclear test at any time, two US officials told CNN on Friday.

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 25 (ANI): In his first statement after pulling the health care bill, United States President Donald Trump leaned hard on the Democrats and said that Obamacare was going to "explode."

Full Story >>

New York [U.S.A.], Mar. 25 (ANI): United States President Donald Trump on Friday asked the House Republicans to pull the heath care bill, a day after he threatened to walk away from health care reform if he didn't get a vote.

Full Story >>

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Mar. 24 (ANI): A suicide bomber was killed while trying to carry out an attack on police outpost near Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport intersection in Dhaka on Friday evening.

Full Story >>

Moscow [Russia], Mar. 24 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin has said Kremlin is not seeking to influence the presidential race in France, but has the right to meet with representatives of the country's political parties.

Full Story >>

Geneva [Switzerland], Mar. 24 (ANI): The United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday decided to send an independent international fact-finding mission to Myanmar to investigate alleged human rights violations in the country, against the ethnic Rohingya Muslims in particular.

Full Story >>

Seoul [South Korea], Mar. 24 (ANI): South Korea on Friday protested Japan's history textbooks for high school, which reflect Tokyo's repeated territorial claims to a pair of rocky islets lying halfway between the two countries.

Full Story >>