Pranab Mukherjee grilled by Western diplomats on Myanmar

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Bangkok, Sep 14 (UNI) Non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries is a core principle of India's foreign policy and it "does not believe in exporting any ideology", External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here today.

The minister was responding to a question by US Ambassador to Thailand, Ralph Boyce that how India justified military assistance to Mynamar.

The US ambassador said at the Chulalongkorn University's Institute for Security and International Studies that Myanmar has "not been a reliable partner" in New Delhi's bid to put down the insurgency in north-east India and arms supplied by India, have been used for "repressing its (Myanmar's) own people".

Similar questions were put by some other Western diplomats and journalists.

Mr Mukherjee said "We normally do not provide any weapons to other countries. India is not an exporter of arms. This is a cardinal principle of our foreign policy".

India has "lived with military regimes in its neighbourhood for quite some time" and its foreign policy is based on the principle of "peaceful co-existence with all countries, irrespective of their ideology," he added.

However, India did not accept violations of human rights in any country. "(But) it is for the people of Myanmar to decide what form of government and politics they want," Mr Mukherjee added.

"We always advise our neighbours - please sort out your issues," he said.


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