Krishna goes to Singapore for people-centric diplomacyMarch 7th, 2012 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, March 7 (IANS) External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna goes Thursday to Singapore on a three-day visit where he will meet Indian envoys of Southeast Asian countries and urge them to become more people-centric, a new focus of India’s diplomacy abroad.
Krishna’s visit comes shortly after his trip to Egypt last week where he met Indian ambassadors of the West Asia and North Africa region with a similar message, asking them to be more focused on the welfare of Indian living in their respective countries.
Informed sources said this will be followed by another meeting next month in Abu Dhabi of Indian envoys posted in the Gulf region.
The visit to Singapore, a leading member of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian countries, is also significant in the context of the East Asia summit India will host towards the end of the year.
The focus of Krishna’s Singapore trip will be, however, on amplifying his message of a more people-focused diplomacy by Indian diplomats.
The immediate trigger for this outreach programme has been the row over the custody of NRI children in Norway.
During his meeting with envoys of the WANA region, Krishna asked Indian envoys to help expatriate Indians in distress and to designate a welfare officer for NRIs in the missions abroad.
The Indian embassies and consulates have been asked to evolve a new mechanism to redress the grievances of expatriate Indians in a timely manner.
The new initiatives include all embassies designating a welfare officer who will be accessible. The Indian ambassador has been asked to allot two hours every week to meet Indians in distress.
The alleged poor handling of the case of two children who were separated from their parents in Norway and put under foster care on grounds of alleged negligence forced a rethink by the foreign ministry on how best to tackle such cases more effectively.
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