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Indian govt will reach out to all countries in the world, says Sushma Swaraj

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:49 IST

On completion of two years in office, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday addressed the annual press conference about the achievements of her ministry on foreign policy. She answered questions about various issues from engagement with the US, violence against minorities in Bangladesh to India's dynamics with Pakistan.

The minister said that her government has decided to reach out to all countries in the world with the help of state governments and cabinet ministers.

"There are 65 countries remaining to be reached out to with personal visits, which we will complete by December 2016," the minister said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a matter of 10 months successfully covered UAE, Saudi Arab, Iran and Qatar for better economic ties, she said.

Swaraj also spoke about the National Security Guard (NSG) membership saying that it is essential for India to have say in nuclear matters. Talking about it, Swaraj said, "China is not protesting membership of India in NSG, it is only talking of criteria procedure. I'm myself in contact with 23 nations. We will not oppose entry of any nation in NSG."

Talking about Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) she said, "We envisage growth in FDI and Skill India programmes through various foreign visits. We have also moved forward with various nations in nuclear agreements."

"We visited all SAARC nations, we also had high-level contacts with Africa, Gulf, the Arab league among others, at the highest level. Our NRIs have been given confidence because of our government. They feel our govt will save them if they are in trouble," she said.

Referring to India's relation with the United States, Swaraj said, "Our engagement with US has increased but not at the cost of nation's interest. We also stage protests against them as and when required."

She also referred to the incidents of violence against Hindus in Bangladesh and said that the government there is taking strong action against the attackers.

First published: 19 June 2016, 5:25 IST