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Statement to Media by Shri Salman Khurshid on assuming charge as the new External Affairs Minister

New Delhi
October 28, 2012
(Ministry of External Affairs)

External Affairs Minister (Shri Salman Khurshid): Good afternoon to all of you. I would imagine that you know a lot more about this Ministry than I do. This is the beginning of my briefing. Foreign Secretary and his colleagues had a round of discussions with me. We have flagged the items on which formal briefings will begin tomorrow. It is a learning curve which will have to be steep because we have really hit the ground running. We have important visitors this week. I will need to get up scratch on everything that I need to know before I get into dialogue and conversations with them.

I would simply say this that it is indeed both an honour and a great responsibility to become part of one of India’s greatest traditions in modern times and that is the Indian foreign policy which is being admirably supported and implemented by generations of outstanding Foreign Service officers and experts and my predecessors who made contributions which I do believe are invaluable to India’s profile in the world and India’s engagement in the world for the betterment of its people, betterment of the entire country.

Some very difficult questions are thrown at us from time to time and we have to be prepared in very very difficult atmosphere in the world because of stress on the economy, because of the very contested claims on issues like climate change, on issues like restructuring of institutions, on issues like international security and terrorism, and all the issues that have continued to plague the world. We have I think managed to tackle all of them with great distinction providing leadership to the world, and that is the tradition that I would like to carry forward.

The Prime Minister and the Congress President have placed a very very important responsibility on my shoulders. It will be my endeavour to ensure that I live up to their very very high standards.

Thank you.