“India is a vital contributor for UN activities. It has been part of peace keeping efforts of the UN since 1950. United States of America, Russia, France and UK believe that we are a strong and suitable candidate. However, China only said there is a need to accommodate the interests of developing countries. It takes some time,” she said.
She was delivering a talk as part of the sixth T A Pai Management Institute Silver Jubilee Leadership Lecture Series in the City.
“The outlook of India's foreign policy is governed by the need for dialogue with Pakistan. However, we have concerns to be addressed as we are victims of terrorism,” Rao said. India was stressing the need for concrete co-operation from Pakistan in the backdrop of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai, she said.
“We had extremely troubled relationships with Pakistan in the past six decades. However, channels of communication with Pakistan must remain open. Dialogue should be taken up in a gradual manner,” the Foreign Secretary said. With energy security being crucial, environmental diplomacy was a very key area of focus, Rao said. India's voice in this regard is increasingly being heard, Rao added.
Rao said when China questions India’s sovereignty with regard to the Kashmir issue, it had every right to state its position. Beijing and New Delhi have taken the issue of stapled visas seriously and the two sides have reached out to each other, the foreign secretary said.