March 03, 2015

India and the World – an Update

A Bi-weekly News Digest on India's Foreign Policy

February 16th - March 2nd, 2015
Volume: 2-4



Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar to visit Pakistan on March 3 
The Indian Express | February 25th, 2015 
One major consideration from the Indian side was that the talks had to take place "substantially before or after" Pakistan Day which falls on March 23. On that day, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi invites the Kashmiri Hurriyat leaders for the official reception and the Hurriyat leaders always attend the event. Since talks were cancelled in August last over Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit's meeting with the Hurriyat leaders, New Delhi was determined not to let it act as a "spoiler" for the talks again.

Pakistan visit: S Jaishankar to talk Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Dawood Ibrahim 
PTI / Deccan Chronicle | February 26th, 2015 
Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's continuous presence in Pakistan, Pakistan-based terrorist groups' activities in Jammu and Kashmir besides other issues are said to have discussed by the two top officials, sources said.

No dramatic results expected from Foreign Secretary's Pakistan visit: India 
PTI / Zee News | February 27th, 2015 
"I would be surprised if there are any dramatic results in terms of bilateral ties when Jaishankar talks with the Pakistani side. How the visit impacts on the ties was difficult to predict at this point," said an official.

'Normalisation of ties between India-Pakistan urgently needed' 
IANS / Business Standard | March 2nd, 2015 
"It is premature to predict the outcome of foreign secretary level talks between Pakistan and India scheduled for March 3, but chances of a decision to resume a composite dialogue are likely either in the upcoming or the follow-up meetings," DawnMonday quoted Aziz as saying.

Sri Lanka

Lankan president Sirisena gets the red carpet with deals on defence, nuclear safety 
The Indian Express | February 17th, 2015 
"The bilateral agreement on civil nuclear cooperation is yet another demonstration of our mutual trust. This is the first such agreement Sri Lanka has signed. It opens new avenues for cooperation, including in areas like agriculture and healthcare," Modi said at a joint media appearance with Sirisena.


India-Bangladesh join hands to defeat terror
PTI / DNA | February 19th, 2015 
The talk discussed in detail security and border management related issues between the two countries. Significantly, both India and Bangladesh expressed satisfaction over the District Magistrates level talks that took place recently. India also assured Bangladesh of its resolve to get the Land Boundary Act through in the parliament as soon as possible that would help the two countries resolve the boundary dispute and related problems. India and Bangladesh have also agreed to resolve the issues concerning fishermen drifting inadvertently across the maritime boundaries.

Boundary issues solved, will take up Teesta with Bangla PM: Mamata Banerjee 
PTI / Business Standard | February 20th, 2015 
"Political geography has divided us, but there is no division in our two minds," she said during her interaction with litterateurs and cultural figures. "Tell me all your expectations...we will respond to them in due time," Ms. Bannerjee said.

Top ULFA leader Anup Chetia won't be deported by Bangladesh till land boundary pact? 
PTI / The Economic Times | February 22nd, 2015 
"The issue of Anup Chetia came up during the Home Secretary level talks. Hints were dropped by the Bangladesh side, which we think as linking the agreement to Chetia's return," an official privy to the discussion said. At the home secretary-level talks held last week, Bangladesh senior secretary for home affairs, Mohammed Mozammel Haque Khan, conveyed to his Indian counterpart Goyal that Dhaka expected early ratification of the agreement.


Joint India-Nepal Military Exercise 'Surya Kiran-VIII' commences 
India Today | February 24th, 2015 
The objective of the ongoing exercise is to carry out counter insurgency and counter terrorist operations by guarding the mountains, jungle terrain  and respective borders by joint monitoring and dedicated effort. Focus was also laid on deriving ways for providing assistance and relief during pandemic, endemic and natural disasters. Issues like environmental degradation and pollution are also included in the scope of this exercise.

Asia Pacific


China proposes triangular partnership with India, Sri Lanka
The Hindu | February 18th, 2015 
Asked to comment on the visit to India by Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "We are happy to see close and friendly development of India-Sri Lanka relations". She added: "We believe the sound relations among the three countries are conducive to the three countries and to the whole region. Therefore we are happy to see development of relations between Sri Lanka and India."

No Chinese incursion into India's territory: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar 
PTI / DNA | February 27th, 2015 
The Minister also said that appropriate measures are taken from time to time to maintain/upgrade the country's defence preparedness along the borders to safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of India.


Japanese firms facing multiple problems in India: Envoy 
PTI / Business Standard | February 27th, 2015 
DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant said the government is committed to take steps to improve ease of doing business in the country. "We will make India an easy place for people to enter and exit. This is a challenge but we have taken up this task. We have announced several steps to improve ease of doing business...Japanese companies will grow and prosper in India and not in Japan," Kant said.

The United States

India now among US' most important strategic partners: US Ambassador Richard Verma 
PTI / Deccan Chronicle | February 18th, 2015  
Inaugurating the US Pavilion at the 'Aero India' show, Ambassador Verma termed the exhibit as "the best of US aviation and defence technology". "Air shows like 'Aero India' allow us to demonstrate our commitment to the strategic relationship with key international partners," he said, adding that "and in 2015, the strategic relationship the United States has with India is one of our most important."

Great opportunity for India-US relationship: Bobby Jindal 
PTI / DNA | February 24th, 2015 
Highly critical of Obama's foreign policy, Jindal appeared to be supportive of the president's efforts to strengthen ties with India, which he noted is in America's interest. Responding to questions, Jindal supported joint effort between India and the US in the fight against terrorism, in particular Islamic extremism.

Middle East

'Multiplicity of opportunities' in India, Sushma tells Oman 
PTI / Zee News | February 18th, 2015 
Swaraj also briefed the Omani leadership about the economic reforms and growth agenda of the new Indian government and welcomed increased investments from this oil-rich nation.

Bahrain keen to deepen ties with India in counter-terrorism 
PTI / Business Standard | February 23rd, 2015 
During the meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the visiting Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa recalled the "deep emotional bonds of friendship that are felt by the people of Bahrain towards India", a PMO statement said. "He conveyed the commitment of the government of Bahrain to deepen bilateral relations, including in the areas of defence, security, counter-terrorism, trade and investment," it added.


India-Israel likely to sign $ 2 bn defence deal 
Business Standard | February 20th, 2015 
"Israel had expressed desire to share cutting-edge weapons technologies with India. Both countries are willing to move forward. During my visit to Israel in November last year, I had invited Israel to become a partner in the 'Make in India' initiative in the defence sector," Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Twitter after a meeting with Israel Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon.


Need political spark for India-EU FTA: EU ambassador 
Live Mint | February 18th, 2015 
Joao Cravinho, the 27-member EU's ambassador in India, said agreements like the India-EU FTA would ensure duty-free access for goods made in India to foreign markets, making India more attractive to foreign investors. Negotiations on the FTA, called the bilateral trade and investment agreement, began in 2007, but the two sides have missed at least four deadlines to finalize a deal. While the EU is keen on greater market access to India, including for a large number of agricultural products, India wants to see fewer restrictions on the temporary movement of its nationals working in Europe.

Ukraine issue: EU wants India to leverage ties with Russia 
PTI / The Times of India | February 18th, 2015 
European Union Ambassador Joao Cravinho said India can play an important role in finding a peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis on which Western countries have threatened Russia of more sanctions if it fails to deescalate the tension. "We hope that India, in its interactions with Russia, should express concerns with regard to territorial integrity (of Ukraine), with regard to maintenance of ceasefire agreements that was agreed upon," Cravinho said.

UK to unveil Gandhi statue on March 14 
PTI / The Asian Age | February 22nd, 2015 
"The statue in Parliament Square not only marks his huge importance in the history of both our countries, but will enrich the firm bond of friendship between the world's oldest democracy and its largest," the British Prime Minister Mr David Cameron said in a statement.



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After the Mumbai attack on 26.11.2008 by the 10 fidayeens of Pakistan under the master mind of Hafiz Saeed, Mr. P. Chdambram become Home Minster of Congress / UPA I.
He said " He is seeing all round Fire and 25 VVIPS are on the Radar of Terrorists " What preventive action taken taken against the terrorism of Pakistan by te UPA I and UPA II from 2004 to 2014 and now BJP / NDA from 26.05.2014 by Mr. Narendra Modiji, Prime Mister of India from 26.05.2014 and now JK Muslim's Youth unrest in 2016???? All enjoying the hospitality of Pakistan on the cost of India.

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