HoM meet focuses on India's security concerns and defense requirements

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New Delhi, Aug.24 (ANI): India's security concerns and defense requirements were the central theme of interactions between the Heads of various Missions and experts from different streams of life at Vigyan Bhavan in the national capital on Monday.

The envoys are meeting in the capital for the second time in the last nine months. The first meet was held last December in the backdrop of 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack.

National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan briefed the envoys over security-related issues for an hour-and-a-half. Later, Director of Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis Narendra Sisodia delivered a speech on India's Defense requirements.

The present diplomatic brainstorming is taking place just a week after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned Chief Ministers and Secretaries of the States about a possible terror attack from Pakistani soil.

Rising cross-border terrorism, challenges to coastal security and China's growing clout in and around the Bay of Bengal have off late become major foreign policy as well as security issues for the Government of India.

External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna, in his inaugural address, touched upon the security-related issues and asserted that India will hold no talks with Pakistan until terrorism stopped emanating from its soil.

According to sources, there will be theme-based discussions on "neighbours"on the second day of the Heads of Mission (HoM) meeting. There will also be special theme deliberations on "Global Financial Crisis" and "Asia Pacific Security" during the four-day session.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, is scheduled to address and interact with the envoys on Tuesday morning.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma and Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor will also speak on Doha Round and India's soft power respectively.

Agriculture Sharad Pawar addressed diplomats on the issue of food security.

Indian envoys from over 120 countries also engaged in discussions with a NASSCOM expert, who provided tips on information technology and small and medium trade.

Dr. Kapila Vatsyayan, who has been a prominent Ambassador of Indian Culture and have penned a number of books on Classical Indian Dance and the Arts, discussed the theme of promoting Indian culture abroad with the visiting officials.

Head of Mission meeting is a close-door affair in which each session is chaired and moderated by a Secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs.

The four-day brainstorming session will not have anyone delivering a valedictory address. By Naveen Kapoor (ANI)

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