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India welcomes pro-democracy wave in Middle East, North Africa: PM

Friday March 18, 2011 05:45:17 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: India Friday welcomed the pro-democracy wave sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that "these are decisions for countries and their citizens to take for themselves."

"As a democracy, we are happy to see our brothers in West Asia (Middle East) and North Africa taking an increasing role in determining their own future. These are decisions for countries and their citizens to take for themselves, free of outside interference or coercion," he said at the India Today Conclave here.

"India will do what it can to support the decisions that the people and countries of the region take about their own future. As close neighbours and historical friends, we have a major stake in their peaceful, orderly evolution. Over six million of our citizens live and work in this area," he added.

India's trade, economic and human ties with the countries of South Asia, East Asia and the Middle East are deep and historical, he said.

"We have to find new pathways of cooperation with these countries to create new opportunities for growth and development," he added.

"The balance is also shifting between states in the global system. The old order is clearly changing. A new order, however, is yet to be born. No country has a greater interest and stake than India in a rule-based and predictable international system within which we can grow and develop," he stressed.

A series of revolutions have swept across the Middle East and North Africa with a public outcry for democracy and human rights echoing in many countries.

It started with the "Jasmine Revolution" in Tunisia followed by the uprising in Egypt that began Jan 25 and Libya later.

Bahrain, one of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, also saw major public protests that led to the intervention of GCC armed forces in the island kingdom. And Yemen has witnessed repeated violence, seeking ouster of its leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Picture of the Day

President of India Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil addressing at the inauguration of the National Festival of Tribal Dances, ‘PRAKRITI’, in New Delhi on March 16, 2011. Union Minister for Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Culture, Kum. Selja, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Kantilal Bhuria and Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Mahadev S. Khandela are also seen.

(Photo: Mukesh Kumar)

 

 
 
 
 
 

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