On occasion of the third anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government at the Centre, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressed a press conference in New Delhi to highlight the achievements of her ministry in three years. Ms Swaraj is known for addressing and solving the issues of overseas Indians and distressed Indians in foreign countries through her 'Twitter Diplomacy'. She highlighted the various foreign tours undertaken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other dignitaries, as well as changes in passport and visa norms and policies.
Here are the highlights of Sushma Swaraj's press briefing:
- I would like to thank the Prime Minister. Because of his efforts, other nations have become so willing to stand with India and be there for India when the need arises.
- India's relations with nations from around the world has improved significantly. We have closer ties with almost every nation, than what we used to have till a few years ago.
- Today, Indians settled abroad are proud of their country of origin. Their confidence is at an all-time high.
- Indians who are travelling abroad have their trust and confidence that the Indian high commissions, embassy's and officials will be there for them in a time or situation of need at the click of a button or a phone call.
- Our government believes in effective diplomacy, efficient delivery. We have proven it.
- We have come a long way in the process and issuing passports.
- Under Trump administration, India-US relations are growing at the same pace as the Obama Administration.
- There has been no change in that. India and US have a relationship of mutual benefit.
- PM Modi has spoken to President Trump thrice, our officials have also had talks with theirs on many occasions. Every interaction has been positive and good.
- US is India's major defence partner. And there has been no intimation from their side that might suggest diluting this special relationship we share.\
- India has signed the Paris accord because of Indian culture and ethos. India and Indians have had a oneness with nature for thousands of years. So for some to say that India has signed the agreement because of being pressured or because of greed for foreign aid in this endeavor is completely baseless and unfortunate. I would like to officially make this clear.
- India has always respected, even worshipped nature. We will be committed to the Paris agreement irrespective of what the United States decides.
- Many said that this government will face a lot of difficulty in keeping good relations with Muslim-majority countries. It is time they see the reality.
- Our relations with countries in Asia are at an all-time high. Saudi Arabia and UAE - countries that were believed to be close to Pakistan, now share a very special and close bond with India.
- Palestine and Israel, who have many disagreements and disputes, look at India as their friend. Recently, the president of Palestine wanted India to mediate talks with Israel.
- Closer home, India has close relations with Afghanistan and Iran.
- India is a responsible and trustworthy nation that will do its best to ensure that the middle-east, south Asia and Asia Pacific regions are peaceful and flourishes in trade.