Diplomacy is an exercise in persuasion, says Ansari

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 30, 2012 14:00 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 30 (IANS) Noting that diplomacy is an exercise in persuasion, Vice President Hamid Ansari Friday hoped that young entrants to the field will keep up their skills to match international standards.

Launching the book "Making of a Diplomat" by Prem K. Budhwar, a former high commissioner to Canada, the vice president said young officers joining the foreign service were bright but need to pick up a few skills.

Ansari, himself a foreign service officer of 1961 batch, said young officers joining the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) have been coming to meet him over the past few years.

"In many ways (they are) brighter than our generation. In some ways they need to pick up a few skills," Ansari said at a brief function attended by former diplomats and civil servants.

He said foreign service officers "live in a world of fellow professionals" and national standards were not good enough.

The young foreign service officers needed to match international standards, Ansari said and hoped that the book will help them in picking up skills.

"The basic point about diplomacy is it is an exercise in persuasion, eventually negotiation," he said.

Ansari said diplomacy often involves dealing with equals to get one's point across.

"If we succeed, we are good communicators," he said.

The vice president said diplomacy was an exercise in learning and each person had to imbibe the skills.

Budhwar said the process of writing a book took him to the beginning of his career in 1962 and he had leant quite a few skills on the job.

However, he added that setting up of foreign service institute had "improved things considerably".

The book, he said, was not only aimed at young entrants but diplomats at all levels.

The book has been published by Konark.

The event started by observing two minutes' silence to pay homage to former prime minister I.K. Gujral who passed away Friday afternoon at a hospital in suburban Gurgaon in Haryana.

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