VP calls for 'Look West Policy' to supplement 'Look East Policy'

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) Vice-President Hamid Ansari today stressed the need for India to have a 'Look West Policy' to supplement its 'Look East Policy' and subsequent contingency plans to safeguard interests in the Persian Gulf (PG) area which faces pressures from Islamist momentum.

In his inaugural address at a seminar on 'India and the Gulf,' organised by the Association of Indian Diplomats, Vice-President warned that pressures from Islamist groups and tendencies were unlikely to subside and may even gather momentum in the light of their successes in Egypt, Lebanon and Palestine.

''All the interested parties (including India), therefore, need to develop contingency scenarios to safeguard their interests...

The totality of India's interest demands that the 'Look East Policy' be supplemented now by a 'Look west Policy,' he said.

Mr Ansari said the task was to locate India in relation to PG and its littoral states necessitating how India saw these states and how they perceived India. Both were necessary to bring about a convergence of interests and the establishment of mutually beneficial relationships, he added.

Pointing out that the entire sub-region is within India's security parameter and the operational radius of the Indian Navy, he said it was also the principal source of imported hydrocarbon energy supplies and principal destination for manpower exports that provide employment to 4.5 million Indian nationals with remittances exceeding 9 billion US dollars per annum.


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