As it happened: Sushma addresses media on 2 years of her ministry

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jun 19, 2016 16:29 IST
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj addresses a news conference on Sunday. (ANI Photo)

India exuded confidence on Sunday that it will get a membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and clarified it won’t oppose the application of any other country.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj also said New Delhi will pursue with its concensus approach on the issue and even try to win over China’s support.

She also defended the Narendra Modi-led government’s global outreach-driven foreign policy and said there are many benefits of such endeavours. “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) does not come sitting at home,” Swaraj said, in an apparent dig at critics of Prime Minister Modi’s frequent overseas travels.

Here are the highlights from Swaraj’s news conference:

  • We have decided and with the help of state governments and Cabinet ministers to reach out to almost all countries in the world by the end of 2016
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi in matter of 10 months covered UAE, Saudi Arab, Iran and Qatar successful for better economic ties
  • Pravasi Bharatiya Divas to be celebrated across all Indian missions abroad simultaneously
  • In the last two years, there has been $55 billion in FDI, an increase of 43% from UPA terms
  • We envisaged growth in FDI and Skill India programmes through various foreign visits; have moved forward with various nations in nuclear agreements.
  • China is not protesting membership of India in (NSG) Nuclear Suppliers Group, it is only talking of criteria procedure
  • India won’t protest entry of any nation in NSG, would want application be considered based on merits: Swaraj on being asked on Pakistan’s entry
  • I am hopeful we will be able to convince China as well (over India’s NSG membership bid), I am in contact with 23 nations; one or two raised concern but I think there is consensus
  • We are trying to ensure that India becomes a member of NSG by the end of this year
  • Moves against terrorism, sustainable development goals, International Yoga Day -- all these are proofs of India’s clout on the global stage
  • We have streamlined the process of getting passports. Since police verification takes a long time, we revised our rules to make it simpler
  • I may not be able to help someone with their refrigerator but I always try to help Indian national in distress
  • Pakistan used to be in denial on terrorism earlier. But Nawaz Sharif himself offered to help with the Pathankot probe
  • Foreign secretary-level talks between the two nations (India and Pakistan) have not been cancelled but we are only awaiting probe from the Pakistan side on the Pathankot attack
  • Terrorism and dialogue cannot go hand in hand: Swaraj while answering questions related to Indo-Pakistan relations
  • NIA has not been denied permission to go to Pakistan and investigate (the Pathankot attack). Pakistan has only asked for time to conduct probe at their end.
  • Incidents of violence in Bangladesh unfortunate. The Bangladesh government is taking strong action against it
  • Our engagement with the US has increased but not at the cost of India’s interest. We also stage protest against them as and when required
  • ED sent us an extradition request for Vijay Mallya. Our team suggested a few changes which have been sent back to the ED. Once the request is final, we will send it to the UK.
  • On Lalit Modi, we have not received any extradition request from ED
  • The Indian high commissioner was not at fault. If Suhel Seth invites someone then the high commissioner has nothing to do with it
  • Don’t know why the issue is being raked up. As everyone knows, the moment the high commissioner saw Mallya in the audience, he walked off
  • It’s the Prime Minister’s prerogative and I don’t want to comment on this: Swaraj on reports of cabinet reshuffle
  • I have no confirmation or proof of Indians being killed in Iraq. In fact, we have been informed that they are alive
  • India has always maintained that we want a peaceful settlement on sea-related issues

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