Jaishankar says focus will be to resolve remaining issues along China border, cross-border terror solution with Pakistan

The External Affairs Minister said, “Bharat First” (India First) and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one family) will be the two guiding axioms of Indian foreign policy

Updated - June 11, 2024 07:01 pm IST

Published - June 11, 2024 12:51 pm IST - ?New Delhi

 BJP MP S Jaishankar takes charge as the External Affairs Minister a day after portfolio allocation, in New Delhi, on June 11, 2024.

BJP MP S Jaishankar takes charge as the External Affairs Minister a day after portfolio allocation, in New Delhi, on June 11, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

India will focus on resolving the remaining issues along the frontier with China, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on June 11, amid the over four-year-long border row in eastern Ladakh that significantly strained bilateral ties.

Shortly after taking charge of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Jaishankar, referring to cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan, said efforts will be made to address the challenge.

Mr. Jaishankar, 69, was among senior BJP leaders, including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah, Nitin Gadkari and Nirmala Sitharaman, who retained the Ministries that they handled in the previous government.

The External Affairs Minister said, “Bharat First” (India First) and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one family) will be the two guiding axioms of Indian foreign policy.

“Together, we are very confident it will position us as ‘Vishwa Bandhu’ — a country which is in a very turbulent world, in a very divided world, a world of conflicts and tensions, it would actually position us as a country which is trusted by many, whose prestige and influence will grow, whose interests will be advanced,” he said.

On ties with China going forward, Mr. Jaishankar said some issues remained along the border with that country and efforts will be made to resolve them.

“Our focus with regard to China will be on how to resolve the remaining issues,” he told reporters.

The Indian and Chinese militaries have been locked in a standoff since May 2020 and a full resolution of the border row has not yet been achieved though the two sides have disengaged from a number of friction points.

Asked about the new government’s approach towards Islamabad, Mr. Jaishankar identified Pakistan’s support to cross-border terrorism as the key issue.

“With Pakistan, we have the issue of terrorism — cross-border terrorism — how do we find a solution to it..that cannot be a policy of a good neighbour,” he said The External Affairs Minister also briefly talked about the government’s foreign policy priorities.

Mr. Jaishankar said the External Affairs ministry performed “exceptionally well” in the previous government and that it is a great privilege for him to helm the ministry once again.

“It is for me an immense honour and great privilege to be once again given the responsibility of leading the Ministry of External Affairs. In the last term, this ministry actually performed exceptionally well,” he said.

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