Interaction with a delegation of Editors/Journalists
from East European countries”
House, New Delhi
The Indian Council for World Affairs (ICWA) organized "An Interaction with a delegation of editors/Journalists from East European countries" on 10 January 2011. Following editors/journalist from East Europe participated in the meeting.
Mr. Jozsef Gyorgy Farkas - Hungary
Mr. Peter Nemeth- Hungary
Mr. Laszlo Benda - Hungary
Mr. Anthony Georgieff - Bulgaria
Ms. Dimana Trankova, Bulgaria
Mr. Wojciech Jagielski - Poland
Ms. Karolina Cygonek - Poland
Mr. Milan Libiger - Chez Republic
Mr. Karel Toman - Chez Republic
Mr. Andrej Miholic- Slovenia
Mr. Zoran Senkovic - Slovenia
Mr. Marko Biocina - Croatia
Mr. Cristian ampeanu- Romania
Ms. Irinea Stoica - Romania
Chairman's Remarks by Amb. Sudhir Devare, DG, ICWA
The Chairman extended a warm welcome to the guests and gave an introduction about past and present activities of ICWA.
He highlighted that India and countries of Eastern and Central Europe have enjoyed very cordial relations over the years. India was among very few developing countries which had excellent relationship with countries of the region during the Cold War and afterwards.
While briefing about India's foreign policy priority the Chairman noted:
Basic foreign policy principles of India remain unchanged namely independence, freedom of action, non-alignment (not in classical sense). However, in last 10-15 years there have been considerable innovations and evolution of Indian foreign policy. India is increasingly becoming a major partner of the global community in the matter of security and non security issues like climate change, WTO, global financial issues and so on.
The Chairman and participants in the meeting structured the discussion along the following themes:
(a) India's foreign policy - The main
issue of debate was- whether India has a foreign policy?
It was argued that Indian foreign policy is in the process
of evolution. India is a non threatening power and it
has a nuanced policy of playing a balancing role and it
should not be seen as a lack of policy.
(b) Future of Non-aligned Movement (NAM) -
It was noted that NAM has gone through tremendous evolution
and change and it needs to be redefined.
(c) India's difficult neighbourhood -
The issue of difficult neighbourhood was discussed in
the context of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was
noted that India is patiently waiting to see a change
of mind in leadership and armed forces of Pakistan so
that they can live with India without using terrorism
as a tool of foreign policy. The situation in Afghanistan
was described as volatile and fragile while stakes in
Afghanistan is considerable for India. India's contribution
in the reconstruction of Afghanistan was acknowledged
while the important issues like withdrawal of NATO forces
from Afghanistan in 2014 and the idea of 'moderate Taliban'
was questioned. China remains a principle foreign policy
challenge for India. Partnership at one hand and competition
at the other was mentioned as policy of India towards
(d) India's quest for permanent seat at the reformed
United Nations Security Council (UNSC). It was
suggested that the reform of UN including UNSC is required
and India deserves a permanent seat at the reformed UNSC.
(e) India's infrastructure development-
India's quest for infrastructure development and its plan
to spend one trillion dollar in coming years was noted.
It was clarified that foreign companies are involved in
the process and they are welcome in India.
(f) Rapprochement between Russia and East Europe-
It was argued that rapprochement between Russia and East
Europe primarily depends on Russia. In the context of
Russia's relations with NATO, it was suggested that both
can go together and this could be a good opportunity for
Russia to gain what it lost in 1980s.
(g) East Europe and India - It was pointed
out that the countries of East Europe also see India as
an investor (as done by TATA in Hungary) and not only
The visitors from East European countries felt that India is an emerging global power. Further, India needs to explain its foreign policy to global community.
Report by: Sanjeev
Kumar, Research Fellow, Indian Council of World Affairs