Modi said during his meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker here on Friday that developing nations face the challenge of tackling poverty and that is the first priority of his government to solve the problem.
Modi said to Kerry, “The first responsibility of my government is to the poorest people of the country. While we don’t oppose the agreement, we believe that the needs of those living on the margins of society, not just in India but elsewhere too, have to be addressed.”
A PMO statement said on Friday, “Prime Minister emphasized the need for developed countries to understand the challenges of poverty in developing countries and their governments’ responsibilities in addressing them when discussions take place in international forums.”
After India took a tough stance on the issue of foodgrain holding and food subsidy at the WTO talks in Geneva Thursday night, the US had blamed the country for failure of the negotiations.
Kerry told Modi that India’s position on the WTO agreement was sending confusing signals to the international community.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, “I think the PM is on record to have said that development challenges that developing countries face are something that should be understood by all.”
He also stated, “India, as a developing country, has challenges and responsibility to ensure food supplies to its entire people and that is reflected in our stance. That stance takes into account our needs. If other countries have a different stance, we understand their perspectives because they come from a different direction.”