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India desires peaceful relations with all its neighbours: Antony

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Feb 17, IRNA -- India has always desired peaceful relations with all its neighbours including Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, said Defense Minister, A K Antony Wednesday in New Delhi.

'We know that security of one nation is closely linked and dependent on the security of its neighboring countries. In the neighbourhood, we have always been in favor of resolving issues through dialogue and constant engagement,' Antony said here addressing the 13th Asian Security Conference-2011.

He said that India's strategic location on the map of Asia gives it a strategic importance. 'India, China and Japan have historical and cultural linkages. Given such a unique inter-connectivity between these and other Asian nations, security-related challenges and their solutions require a united approach in the entire regions,' the Minister added.

He listed terrorism, piracy and arms smuggling as some of the main challenges faced by the countries of Asia.

The Defense Minister also said that India didn't want to further its relationship with one nation at the cost of any other nation. 'Our relations with other nations are dictated by our security imperatives. We have never wanted to further our relationship with a particular nation at the cost of the relations with any other country,' Antony noted.

Referring to Pakistan, the Minister added that the two sides have just concluded the Foreign Secretary-level talks which demonstrated their desire to carry forward the dialogue process.

After the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai, India had suspended the dialogue process with Pakistan which was resumed only a week before that in Thimphu where the two Foreign Secretaries had met to discuss the issues between the two sides.

India has been demanding that Pakistan should punish the Pak-based terror groups and individuals responsible for carrying out the Mumbai attacks on 26 November 2008, in which over 165 people were killed and several others were injured.

Organized by the Institute of Defense Studies and Analysis (IDSA), the two-day conference would be a useful step in conceptualizing a new pan Asian order, even as it, in the main, surveys existing capacities against possibilities. The aim is to visualize a pan-Asian framework for addressing security challenges and for facilitating cooperation.

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