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India should have independent foreign policy: Karat

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November 20, 2005 16:26 IST

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Sunday asked the United Progressive Alliance government to spell out its stance on the Iran nuclear issue before the Parliament session begins on November 23. It emphasised that India's foreign policy should be independent of outside pressures.

"If the Centre decides to vote against Iran, it should be viewed seriously as the focus should be on Indian interests, without succumbing to outside pressures," Prakash Karat, CPI(M) general secretary, said at a convention in Hyderabad.

In a veiled attack on the Centre, Karat demanded that the UPA categorically spell out its stand on the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting, with regard to the Iran nuclear issue. "Left parties are of the view that our foreign policy should be independent in nature, which takes care of the national interests," he said.

Voicing similar feelings, other speakers at the convention said the UPA government should be committed to an  independent foreign policy.

"The pro-US stand on Iran's nuclear issue being refered to United Nations Security Council has created a major debate," they said, adding that the United States has started a campaign drafting Indian support to isolate Iran on the nuclear issue.

"To dispel this notion, we have to make our stand on the issue very clear and the foreign policy should be drafted keeping national interests in view," Karat said. India, which imports 70 percent of its oil, should maintain good relations with Iran and be alert of the designs of the 'imperialists', Karat said.

Complete coverage: The Iran vote and after

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