India, officially the Republic of India, has full diplomatic relations with 201 states, including Palestine, the Holy See, and Niue. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is the government agency responsible for the conduct of foreign relations of India. With the world's third largest military expenditure, second largest armed force, fifth largest economy by GDP nominal rates and third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, India is a prominent regional power and a rising superpower.
According to the MEA, the main purposes of Indian diplomacy include protecting India's national interests, promoting friendly relations with other states, and providing consular services to "foreigners and Indian nationals abroad." In recent decades, India has pursued an expansive foreign policy, including the neighborhood-first policy embodied by SAARC as well as the Look East policy to forge more extensive economic and strategic relationships with other East Asian countries. It has als