India welcomes democracy in Egypt: President Patil

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (ANI): Welcoming the dawn of democracy elsewhere, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Monday said Egypt has recently seen momentous developments.

"Egypt has recently seen momentous developments. As a democracy ourselves, we welcome the dawn of democracy elsewhere," President Patil said in her joint address to both houses of Parliament."We have an abiding interest in peace, stability and development of countries in our extended neighbourhood.

She further said India would continue to work for the return of stability and peace in Afghanistan.

"We will continue to work for the return of stability and peace in Afghanistan and to help the Afghan people's reconstruction efforts, " President Patil said in her joint address to both houses of Parliament.

She said with Pakistan we seek a peaceful resolution of issues through a meaningful dialogue so long as Pakistan does not allow its soil to be used for terrorist activities against India.

She further said the Government's foreign policy priority remains the promotion and creation of an environment that is conducive to the socio-economic transformation of India.

"The pursuit of peace, shared prosperity and regional cooperation within the Indian sub-continent and in our extended neighbourbood will continue to guide my government's efforts," she added.

"High-level visits by the Heads of States and Governments of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka to India during the last year have led to a qualitatively new level of understanding with our neighbours," she said.

" My government has also broadened India's economic and political relations with the countries of the Gulf, West Asia, Central Asia and East Asia. My visits to China, our neighbour, and to Laos and Cambodia, promoted our links with an area which is increasingly important to India," she added.

She said millions of our fellow citizens today work in the Gulf and West Asia. Indians overseas make valuable contributions to the countries of their residence and they do us proud.

"We will continue to work for the welfare of our diaspora, whose contributions to India we appreciate and whose links we will foster," she added.

Emphasising that the international economic situation continues to remain complicated by the after effects of the global financial crisis, President Patil said: "We have worked with our international partners in the G-20, the BRIC, and the IBSA groupings to promote an open and inclusive international trading order, resisting protectionist impulses.

"We have participated in global climate change negotiations to fulfil our responsibilities as global citizens, the demands of global equity, and the imperatives of India's rapid economic transformation," she said.

"As a member of the United Nations Security Council for a two-year term starting in January this year my government will advance the cause of peace, development and security, and uphold the values of multilateralism," she added. (ANI)

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