External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said India's ties with the countries of West Asia were robust as never before, proving wrong those who believed that the country's priority regarding the Muslim nations of the region would change under the Modi Government.
"When our Government came, experts of foreign affairs said West Asia will be out of focus. If I talk of regional relations today, we have the best of ties with West Asia,'' Ms Swaraj said at a press conference on three years of the Modi Government here.
She underscored that India had equally good relations with even those countries of West Asia which were at loggers head with each other -- like for example Saudi Arabia and Iran, and Israel and Palestine.
''Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who recently visited India, said we could use our friendship with Israel in resolving the problem between the two nations," she said.
The Minister also pointed out that India recently hosted with equal enthusiasm both the leaders of Cyprus and Turkey, the other two nations of the region in conflict.
The Prime Minister had been bestowed Saudi Arabia's highest honour, and the UAE ruler was the chief guest at India's Republic Day function, she pointed out.
Ms Swaraj also spoke of how much the Prime Minister had done to enhance ties with Gulf region, as a result of which nations of the region were helping India in various ways.
In fact, since the Modi Government had come to power, the country's global prestige and influence have been on the rise, and Indians across the world too have gained confidence she added.
The Minister also recounted the various effective steps being taken to promote regional connectivity.
Replying to a question on the complaints of the Iranian side that India was going slow on the Chabahar Project, Ms Swaraj said their complaint was genuine, but now effective steps had been taken to give pace to the project and as of now work on all such project was progressing at a fast pace.
She said she was monitoring the project, and taking of review every three month to report to the Prime Minister every six month.
Ms Swaraj said India had set new standards in helping its citizens in distress and it had rescued 80,000 of them from foreign countries.
The Minister underlined that the motto of her Ministry during all these three years had been "effective diplomacy, excellent delivery'', to serve the country's developmental agenda which was sought to be achieved through programmes like Make in India and Smart City.
"Our envoys are very active. There has been a 37.5 per cent increase in FDI over the last three years,'' she said.UNI NAZ SW SNU 1920
-- (UNI) -- C-1-1-DL0091-922774.Xml