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Govt not apologetic on new ties with US: PM
March 14, 2006 18:29 IST
In a blunt rejection of criticism by Left allies and the opposition, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday made it clear that India is not surrendering its autonomy of independent foreign policy in engaging with the US.
At the same time, Singh said he was not apologetic on forging new relations with the US. He felt this would create "new space" and "greater elbow room" for economic development.
Describing the US as a "super power", he said "it is in our interest to engage" with that country "to see wherever space exists, we can take advantage of it".
"Any notion that the new deal we have with the US amounts to surrender to our independent thinking is totally misplaced," he said replying to the discussion on the working of the ministry of external affairs in the Rajya Sabha.
The prime minister dispelled apprehensions of India associating itself with any move at regime change in the region. "Certainly, we are not part and parcel of any attempt to change regime," he stressed.
On India-China relations, he hoped "some solution" to the "difficult" boundary problem would emerge from the ongoing talks between Special Representatives of the two countries. Chinese President Hu Jintao would be visiting the country later this year. Promising to pursue a pro-active role with its neighbours for a prosperous, inter-connected South Asia, Singh said Bangladesh Premier Khaleda Zia would be visiting India later this month during which the two countries would have candid discussions on bilateral issues.