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We will safeguard national interests: PM

By Staff
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New Delhi, Feb 23 (UNI) A week before he receives President George W Bush amid vehement opposition by the Left parties to the high-profile visit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured the nation that his government would always keep national interests "uppermost in mind" while pursuing the foreign policy and ensuring the country's security.

''Our civilisation has a message for the world that informs our foreign policy vision. That has been a message of unity in diversity, of pluralism, inclusiveness and secularism,'' he said, winding up a three-day debate in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks on the President's address to the joint session of Parliament.

Asserting that India looked forward to the visit of President Bush next month with a "sense of self-confidence", Dr Singh urged all political parties to respect the country's tradition of national consensus on foreign policy orientation and help strengthen the hands of the government in dealing with the world.

''By and large we have had a national consensus on our foreign policy orientation and that has given us great strength in dealing with the world,'' he said.

While reiterating that the world X X X here pick up third para of PAR 12-PM FOREIGN POLICY.

UNI SH/AT RAI1841

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