October 9, 2021 3:25:22 am
Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on Thursday assured ASEAN nations that India considered them an important factor in ensuring peace and stability in the sensitive South-East Asian region. India’s affinity with South-East Asia impelled it to have a dialogue with each of the five members of ASEAN, Mrs Gandhi said in a speech at a state dinner hosted in her honour by President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines in Manila on the first day of her two-day state visit. Mrs Gandhi told ASEAN nations, with whom India has differing perceptions on certain issues, notably Kampuchea, that, “India is next door and history makes us, if I may so, an honorary member of your region.”
Egypt’s Vice-President Hosni Mubarak has accepted his nomination by parliament for the presidency and will be elected to the post at a national referendum on Tuesday. He is the only candidate in the field. But the two big questions are: Will he enjoy the support of the Egyptian armed forces and will he carry on with policies of President Anwar Sadat after he settles down in office? Very little is known about Mubarak’s approach to the vast problems of his country, because he has made very few statements in the past.
The continuing infighting and indiscipline in the ruling Congress-I is affecting Indira Gandhi’s image as a strong leader. Though most of her partymen are reluctant to say so, they express concern in private conversations and feel that unless Mrs Gandhi takes firm action soon after her return from abroad on Friday, the party’s problems will become more serious. The delay on A R Antulay’s resignation has added a new dimension to the ugly situation in which senior party leaders continue to attack each other.
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