Manmohan Singh Lauds India’s Diplomatic Approach Amid G20 Summit
Ahead of the G20 Summit set to kick start in India today, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh praised his predecessor Narendra Modi-led government’s diplomatic stand on the Russia-Ukraine war. Singh’s remark came at a time when the Russia-Ukraine war is expected to be in focus during the meeting in Delhi.
India’s Consistent Advocacy for Peaceful Dialogue
Since the conflict started in Ukraine in February 2022, India has consistently maintained that peaceful dialogue is the only way to resolve the issue. In an exclusive interview with Indian Express, Singh, during whose tenure the G20 Leaders’ summit came into existence following the 2008 financial crisis, also cautioned the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to exercise ‘restraint’ in using “diplomacy and foreign policy for party or personal politics.”
“The international order is very different now, especially after the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the geo-political rift between the Western nations and China. India has a pivotal role to play in steering this new world order. As a peaceful large democracy with Constitutional values, built since Independence, and a large growing economy, India commands immense respect globally,”
Optimism About India’s Future
Singh further said he is “more optimistic about India’s future than worried,” but that optimism is “contingent on India being a harmonious society.” He noted that international order changed, especially after the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the geopolitical rift between the Western nations and China.
“India has a pivotal role to play in steering this new world order. As a peaceful large democracy with Constitutional values, built since Independence, and a large growing economy, India commands immense respect globally,” he said.
India’s Role as G20 President
When asked about India’s presidency of G20, Singh said he was ‘very glad’ that India’s rotational chance for the Presidency of the G20 came during his lifetime and he is a witness to India hosting world leaders for the G20 summit.
“Foreign policy has always been an important element of India’s governance framework, but it is fair to say that it has become even more relevant and important to domestic politics today than earlier,” he said. The former PM added that while India’s standing in the world should rightfully be an issue in domestic politics, it is equally important to exercise restraint in using diplomacy and foreign policy for party or personal politics.
Opportunities Amidst Global Shifts
Singh noted that talks of de-globalisation and new types of trade restrictions could disrupt the existing world order but can also open new opportunities for India in global supply chains.
“It is in India’s economic interests to not get trapped in conflicts and maintain an equilibrium of trading relationships across nations and regions,” he said.
Concerns Over Xi Jinping’s Absence
On Chinese President Xi Jinping’s decision to not attend the G20 Summit, Singh said it was “unfortunate” and expressed hope that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would take the necessary steps to protect India’s territorial and sovereign integrity and defuse bilateral tensions.
Opposition’s View on Russia-Ukraine Issue
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who is on an unofficial tour to Europe, in a recent interview said that the opposition parties in India, by and large, agree with the BJP-led government’s position on the Russia-Ukraine war. He said that India is a large country and it is the country’s right to maintain a relationship with any country (in this case Russia) it wants.
|September 8-10, 2023
|New Delhi, India
|Russia-Ukraine Conflict and Global Geopolitical Dynamics