Indian foreign minister criticized after reading wrong speech at UN summit

Monday, February 14, 2011

S.M. Krishna in 2009
Image: Naveah.

India's foreign minister has been criticized by Members of Parliament after he read out the wrong speech at a UN summit. S.M. Krishna accidentally read out the speech belonging to the foreign minister of Portugal for three minutes before he was corrected by officials. Both members of the opposition party and that of Krishna's spoke out against his mistake.

Satyavrat Chaturvedi, the Congress spokesman, said, "the ministry is supposed to be vigilant enough. This ultimately reflects on the Government of India… especially when we are seeking to become a permanent member of the Security Council." While the senior opposition party leader Venkaiah Naidu said, "was it a negligence or mistake? Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should explain to the nation why and how it happened at a world forum and he should also explain what are the steps being taken in this regard."

Krishna has commented on his mistake himself releasing a statement saying "Unfortunately, it happened. There was nothing wrong in it. There were so many papers spread in front of me so by mistake the wrong speech was taken out."

This is not the first time that the wrong speech has been read out at a UN summit. In 2009 US President Barack Obama accidentally read out the speech of the Irish prime minister because the speeches got mixed up on the teleprompter.