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During the book launch event for “India’s Moment: Changing Power Equations around the World” by former Indian diplomat Prof Mohan Kumar, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar delivered a strong message to Indian and western diplomats on Monday. He emphasized that Indian negotiators should not feel defensive about their “domestic politics,” highlighting the importance of acknowledging and asserting one’s own cultural and historical context in negotiations.

Jaishankar also stressed the need for introspection and correction in foreign policy decisions, urging a continuous process of evaluation and adjustment to ensure the right direction. He encouraged looking back at past choices and considering alternative paths that were not taken to refine foreign policy strategies.

Regarding Free Trade Agreements, Jaishankar cautioned against rushing into deals without carefully weighing the implications for India’s economy and small producers. He emphasized the need to balance the benefits and risks of FTAs, as they can impact the livelihoods of millions of people and the future of society.

Kumar, currently Dean of Strategic International Initiatives at O P Jindal Global University, discussed the book’s focus on explaining why Indian negotiators may be perceived as difficult or skeptical in international negotiations. The event was attended by various Indian diplomats, showcasing a diverse range of perspectives on global affairs and diplomatic relations.

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