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Speeches in Parliament Vol. (IV)-8

We have seen in the last year or so, in different international forums, many important matters regarding raw materials, regarding petrol prices, regarding transfer of real resources from developed countries to developing countries, regarding monetary crises and the solutions for them coming up. There are many aspects of the economic situation which are being discussed.

There was a question of confrontation between the oil consumers and the oil producers. Naturally, we as a developing country and as a non-aligned country took a line that even the oil producing countries have a certain right, as sovereign States, to fix the prices of oil even though it certainly cost us more. Even then, we took a principled position and we supported that. At the same time we have also pointed out to the world that it has had a rather harmful effect on our economy for which certain solutions must be found. Instead of taking an approach of confrontation, we can certainly take an approach and an attitude of co-operation. It is on those lines that we have worked at different international forums. Even now, in Paris, I think, our representative is meeting in a preparatory meeting for a conference between the consumers and producers and most seriously affected countries. I hope, with this approach of co-operation, it might help us to go ahead.

I mention in detail these economic matters because the present economic problems, monetary problems and the economic crisis, all these things, are also factors in the international scene which are going to influence policy making in the foreign affairs field. You cannot separate economic matters from political matters. We saw what happened in the 1973 war in West Asia. It really created the present acute problems as a result of the political situation there. They are increasingly getting integrated with each other. It is very difficult to separate one from the other. Therefore, this is an important factor on the world scene today that is going to affect the thinking in all the countries, of Which both the developed countries and the developing countries have to take note as a part of their policy-making affairs.

I was talking about non-alignment. In the non-alignment movement also, in order to maintain the solidarity of the non-aligned countries, we will have to find out the areas of co-operation whereby, taking into consideration the complementarity of the economies of these countries, we could build bridges of co-operation with non-aligned countries, the developing countries, the third world countries. And this solidarity of the non-aligned countries is the greatest guarantee of the progressive forces in the world. This is the major point that I wanted to make about this particular aspect.