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India's Look East policy should include West too, say European envoys

May 15, 2012 13:47 IST
Diplomats of European countries have called on Nagaland Governor Nikhil Kumar and Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio amidst a controversy in New Delhi over their 'uninformed' visit to the North-Eastern state.

The diplomats discussed the possibilities of enhancing cooperation between India and EU in various fields pertaining to the N-E region and Nagaland in particular during their meetings with Kumar and Rio on Monday, official sources said.

The envoys, who visited the state museum and other places of tourist interest on Tuesday, however, refused to make any comment on their visit to the state.

"Since our visit has created some controversies, we do not like to make any comment now," EU Ambassador to India Joao Cravinho, who led a team of eight diplomats to Nagaland, told reporters with a smile.

"We are overwhelmed by wonderful hospitality and enjoyed our trip to Nagaland," was the only comment he offered.

During the meeting with the governor at Raj Bhavan, the envoys talked on various issues including the ongoing Naga peace process, official sources said.

Underlining the importance of India's Look East policy, the envoys said it was equally important to take into consideration the 'West' in the same policy, the sources said.

The ambassadors also met the chief minister and his council of ministers and discussed wide-ranging issues for enhancing bilateral cooperation between the EU and India and how Nagaland could be part of this process, the sources said.

Besides Cravinho, envoys of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Germany, Poland and Slovakia were on a three-day visit to Nagaland.

The home ministry on Monday lodged a protest with the ministry of external affairs over this visit of the envoys without any intimation and security clearance and raised concern on their meeting with political leaders and civil society members.

The envoys interacted with representatives of tribal organisations in Kohima on Monday.

The diplomats visited the state museum, Kohima War Cemetery and historic Khonoma village, before leaving for Dimapur where they were scheduled to meet a business delegation.

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