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Foreign policy makeover? PM Modi may skip NAM Summit in Venezuela next month

In the midst of makeover in the country’s foreign policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unlikely to visit Venezuela next month to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.
India TV Politics Desk New Delhi August 17, 2016 10:45 IST
India TV Politics Desk

In the midst of makeover in the country’s foreign policy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unlikely to visit Venezuela next month to attend the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.

According to a Times of India report, despite receiving the invitation weeks in advance, the government has not confirmed PM Modi’s participation in the Summit which has 120 members.

The report said that the decision not to attend the summit is part of the Narendra Modi government’s efforts to bring about change in the country’s foreign policy.

The NAM, which lost its significance since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, is seen as a platform for anti-Americanism. This is why Prime Minister Modi, who has made India-US relations a centrepiece of his foreign policy, may decide not to associate himself with the club of 120 nations.

In fact, Venezuela has said that it is sending its Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez accompanied by Oil Minister to New Delhi on Thursday to extend another invitation for the Summit.

No Indian PM except in 1979 when Charan Singh was the caretaker PM had skipped the NAM Summit, which recognises India’s first PM Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru as its founding father.

The report, however, mentioned that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj or Vice President Hamid Ansari may travel to Venezuela to represent India.

The 17th edition of NAM summit is scheduled to take place on September 17-18 at Venezuela’s Margarita Island.

The NAM is a group of states which are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. As of 2012, the movement has 120 members. The organization was founded in Belgrade in 1961, and was largely conceived by Jawaharlal Nehru, Indonesia's first president Sukarno, Egypt's second president Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ghana's first president Kwame Nkrumah and Yugoslavia's president Josip Broz Tito.