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Karthik G.R. asked: Peaceful Coexistence remains the cornerstone of India's foreign policy. How is it reflected in our foreign policy endeavours?

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  • Rajeesh Kumar replies: Peaceful coexistence constitutes one of the fundamental principles of India's foreign policy. Mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference, equality and mutual benefit are the fundamentals of peaceful coexistence. India believes that friendship and cooperation between and among nations will bring peace and development across the globe. Accordingly, it believes that countries are obliged to resolve their disputes peacefully and refrain from unauthorised intervention in a state's internal affairs. 

    India's proactive engagements in global multilateral institutions, particularly in the United Nations, exemplify this worldview. India views the UN as an instrument for the peaceful settlement of disputes. India's approach towards the Russia-Ukraine war is a recent case in point. From the start of the conflict, India has stood firmly in advocating a peaceful resolution. 

     India's aversion towards military alliances is another example of its embrace of the principle of peaceful coexistence. India was never part of a military alliance or coalition. India's current foreign policy approach – multi-alignment, which entails reaching out to various power centres and institutions, underlines this approach. In short, peaceful coexistence allows India to develop closer strategic and economic cooperation with its friends and strategic competitors.

    However, it is also important to note that in the regional context, India's neighbours often have placed geopolitical calculations above the principles of peaceful coexistence, which has forced India to revisit its approach.

    Posted on 15 February 2023

    Views expressed are of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Manohar Parrikar IDSA or the Government of India.