Speeches in Parliament Vol. (IV)-21

An hon. member mentioned about Latin America. Our relationship with Latin American countries is also recognised to be a very important plank of foreign policy. May be what was true ten years before is not true today. We have got our Embassies there. I had particularly mentioned that this non-aligned meet at Havana had a special significance in the context of Latin American countries. The non-aligned movement is taking firmer roots in Latin America and they are participating in third world problems and identifying themselves with the third world, which is very good. As far as trade is concerned, trade with Latin America is not an easy matter. It is a matter of distance, but even then we have started making progress. A direct shipping service has been started. It goes to Surinam, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and other places depending on cargo. There is possibility of another service to Panama and pacific ports of Latin America. Certainly these contacts will ultimately help the growth of trade and economic cooperation.

As far as East European countries and Soviet Russia are concerned, our relations are very friendly. Prof. Mukherjee suggested yesterday that by mistake sometimes people try to bracket the two super powers together. I think that is not at least our Government’s attitude, because the two super power cannot be bracketed together. They are not only qualitatively different, but they are different from the point of views of our national interest. This is one fact we have to take note of. Whenever India was in difficulty Soviet Russia has stood by us. Certainly our relations with Soviet Russia are very friendly and they will grow from strength to strength. Our relations with the East European socialist countries are also very friendly. Only this year we have visits from three Prime Minsiters of East European countries and we have found that there is identity of views and similarity of approach in regard to many international matters. I think our trade and economic cooperation is also growing. Our relation with the East European countries and the Soviet world is a very important matter of policy with us and I am sure it will grow from strength to strength.

As far as U.S.A. is concerned, Dr. Kissenger’s visit created certain hopes, but the lifting of the embargo created difficulties and I had to postpone my visit to U.S.A. For future, we certainly hope to have good relations with them, but it will depend upon their showing sensitivity to our national concerns.