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'Growth of nationalism' happening across the world: S Jaishankar


New Delhi, June 06: Asserting that the expectation of change has strengthened in the last five years, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday said world is witnessing a "growth of nationalism" and that it "has been validated electorally in many places".

Speaking at an event in Delhi, former foreign secretary Jaishankar, who took over as the External Affairs Minister last week, said India's foreign policy should focus on creating partnerships and mechanisms to propel economic change.

Growth of nationalism happening across the world: S Jaishankar

"Today, if we want to propel economic change, I think there is a greater responsibility for Indian foreign policy to focus on external aspects of it, to create partnerships and mechanisms which help Indian businesses do their business outside the country," he said.

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"...across the world you have had broadly a growth of nationalism and reasons are very complex, that nationalism has been validated electorally in many places. At one level each is different, but somewhere there is a message out there," the minister further said.

Jaishanker stressed on the importance of departments and ministries to work together.

Addressing the gathering at a seminar, Jaishankar said a "global rebalancing" is taking place and the "sharpest manifestation" of that is the rise of China and to an extent, the rise of India as well.

The former foreign secretary took part in the event days after taking charge of the ministry, a rare instance of a career diplomat handling the key portfolio as a minister.

"A large majority of people in India recognised that India's stature in the world has risen in the last five years," Jaishankar said.

He said the government has kept alive and perhaps even strengthened expectation of change in India. The government looks different from outside than from inside, said Jaishankar, who served as foreign secretary from 2015-18 said.

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"We can build a closer region through regional connectivity projects," he added.

"If we want to propel economic growth, then there is greater responsibility for Indian foreign policy to focus on external aspect of it," the minister said.

There is big responsibility on the External Affairs Ministry to focus on project execution which has strategic significance, he added.

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