Indian envoys to discuss major foreign policy initiatives on Aug.24 and 25

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New Delhi, Aug.14 (ANI): Nearly 120 Indian envoys from across the globe will gather in New Delhi on August 24 for the second heads of missions meeting.

This conclave of Indian diplomats will go on for two days.

This is the second such meeting, the first being in December last year in the backdrop of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks when India was on a 'diplomatic offensive' against Pakistan.

The Second Head of Missions meeting assume significance because it will be the first time envoys are meeting under the new regime when the Manmohan Singh-led government has much clearer mandate, much more freedom in devising foreign policy with the Left Parties out of the way.

According to sources, volatility in the neighborhood and global issues like protectionism, climate change, economic meltdown will dominate the agenda of the meeting.

External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna will attend the meeting and Prime Minister Singh is also expected to address the diplomats.

The meeting is taking place at a very crucial time when major foreign policy initiatives are pending. The government has to take a call on them in near future, and it is believed that the inputs given by the envoys, will be vital in shaping the future course of Indian foreign policy.

The first and foremost test for the government is to whether or not to resume the composite dialogue process with Pakistan, especially in the wake of the uproar created by the opposition and the strategic community over the joint statement that was recently inked in Sharm-el-Sheikh.

Another foreign policy challenge will be the decision on the stand India should take at the the Climate Change Summit to be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, later this year.

The timing of the meeting is all the more crucial because it is happening just before the first bilateral state visit by the Indian Prime Minister to United States in November and also the G-20 Pittsburgh summit.

A new foreign minister is in place in the form of S M Krishna, a new Foreign Secretary (Nirupama Rao) has taken charge and there are two new amabassadors in two key power centers-the United States and China-Meera Shankar and S.Jaishankar. Therefore, it would not be out of place to assume that the Second Head of Missions meeting could come up with some interesting and fresh fare. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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