On 4 November 2013, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh spoke to over 120 heads of Indian missions and outlined the five principles that defined his foreign policy. These were:

First, recognition that India’s relations with the world – the major powers and Asian neighbours – were shaped by its developmental priorities. Singh said that “the single most important objective of Indian foreign policy has to be to create a global environment conducive to the well-being of our great country”.

Second, that greater integration with the world economy would benefit India and enable Indians to realise their creative potential.

Third, to seek stable, long term and mutually beneficial relations with all major powers. And to work with the international community to create a global economic and security environment beneficial to all nations.

Fourth, to recognise that the Indian subcontinent’s shared destiny required greater regional cooperation and connectivity.

Fifth, a foreign policy defined not merely by interests, but also by the values dear to Indians: “India’s experiment of pursuing economic development within the framework of a plural, secular and liberal democracy has inspired people around the world and should continue to do so.”

This was a clear exposition of what was sought to be achieved. India would use foreign policy to…

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