Common Minimum Foreign Policy

Thankfully, the new Indian government has not taken a revisionist stance on foreign policy. The text of the Common Minimum Policy suggests a continuation of Vajpayee’s line. In particular, the new government intends to continue the strategic engagement with America, economic ties with China and South East Asia.

Though not in substance, there may be a change in style.

Foreign Policy, International Organisations

The UPA government will give the highest priority to building closer political, economic and other ties with its neighbours in South Asia. Dialogue with Pakistan on all issues will be pursued systematically and on a sustained basis. The UPA will support peace talks in Sri Lanka that fulfil the legitimate aspirations of all linguistic and religious minorities within the territorial integrity and solidarity of Sri Lanka. Trade and investment with China will be expanded further and talks on the border issue pursued seriously. Relationships with East Asian countries will be intensified.

The UPA government will maintain the independence of India’s foreign policy stance on all regional and global issues even as it pursues closer strategic and economic engagement with the USA.

The UPA government will fully protect the national interest, particularly of farmers, all WTO negotiations.

Commitment made earlier will be adhered to even as efforts are mounted to ensure that all agreements reflect our concerns fully. The UPA government will use the flexibility afforded in existing WTO agreements to fully protect Indian agriculture and industry. [Common Minimum Programme via Rediff]