|There is potential for Indian mediation in Iran-West nuclear dispute: IDSA director||
Gupta made the remarks on Monday during a question-and-answer session with the journalists who are visiting Gurgaon, Haryana, India, to attend the 12th meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation, which began on October 28 and closes on November 2.
Asked about his view about an Indian mediation between Iran and the West over Tehran’s nuclear program, he stated, “I for one feel that there is a potential but provided that both sides agree to this. The fact is that we have good relations with the West and we have good relations with Iran. And the problems surrounding this issue affect our security directly, and India cannot remain a bystander to the major security issues that are shaping up in the region.”
Gupta also said, “As far as India is concerned, there is not any proposal at this point of time (about) mediation between Iran and the West.”
Commenting on the presence of Iranian naval forces in the Indian Ocean as part of the campaign against piracy, he noted that Iran is an important country and should play its role in maintaining the security of the ocean.
At the beginning of the session, Gupta introduced the IDSA, and said, “This is an autonomous institute which focuses on strategic issues. It essentially covers India’s foreign policy, security policies, international security issues, and issues of national security as well.
“We were established in 1965, and since then, it (the institute) has emerged as a premier think thank in the country.”
He added, “The institute is fully funded by the government, mainly the Ministry of Defense.”
“We work closely with the government in the sense that we work on issues of importance and concern to the government. But at the same time, we also have maintained close links with the strategic community, with the universities, with other think thanks, and also our counterparts abroad,” he stated.
On India’s foreign policy, the IDSA director general said, “India was one of the proponents of the idea of non-alignment during the Cold War years. So, the idea of non-alignment was essentially for countries which did not wish to be part of a military block.”
“It was not an idea of neutrality. It was an idea of retaining independence,” he explained.
He also enumerated the principles of India’s foreign policy and said that the country focuses largely on the maintenance of its strategic autonomy while having relations with other countries.
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