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Showing posts from May 20, 2018

The Role of Cultural Interactions and Resident Indian Communities in the GCC Countries in Shaping Gulf-India Ties

By Talmiz Ahmad Published Online: May 05, 2018 India’s ties with the Gulf go back at least 8000 years. Archaeological excavations at Dilmun in Bahrain and Sur in Oman reveal links with the Harappan civilisation that go back to 2300-2000 BC.  Cotton was a major export from India, while an ivory comb and clay pots carrying grain have been found at Sur. India’s relations with the Mesopotamian civilisations perhaps go back to the 9 th  century BC: clay tablets from Sumeria and Akkad show evidence of trade with the Indus valley involving imports of precious and semi-precious stones, while Sumerian exports were woven cloth, bronze weapons and jewellery inlaid with lapis lazuli.  Cuneiform tablets from the reign of Sargon of Akkad (2300 BC) indicate the joy of the ruler at the large number of ships crowding his port of Akkad from Dilmun, Magan (Oman) and Mellukah (Indus valley). Excavations at Ur and the palace of Nebuchadnezzar show images of apes, elephants, camels and the presence of

Philippine Island Runway Repairs & China Weapon Systems on Woody Island

MAY 25, 2018  |  AMTI BRIEF AMTI Double Feature: Philippine Island Runway Repairs   & China Weapon Systems on Woody Island AMTI published new imagery on two separate features this week, both presented here for your weekend reading. Feature 1: Philippines Launches Spratly Runway Repairs May 25, 2018 The Philippines has begun long-delayed repairs to its crumbling runway at Thitu, or Pag-asa, Island, the largest of its nine outposts in the Spratly Islands and home to upwards of 100 civilians and a small military garrison. Thitu sits just over 12 nautical miles from China’s air and naval base at Subi Reef, and was the site of a tense standoff with a  Chinese flotilla  last August. Philippine defense officials in April 2017  announced that  they would be upgrading facilities at the country’s occupied islands and reefs, but little work was apparent until now. In addition to the runway repairs, a comparison of recent imagery with photos from February 2017 shows minor upgrades to fac

Silk Road Headlines

Silk Road Headlines 23 May 2018 Source: Louis Vest/flickr  An important theme in this week's Silk Road Headlines is choice. As the Arab proverb goes: "Choose your neighbour before your house and your companion before the road." A policy paper of King's College London states there is a paradigm shift in geopolitics. The paper delves into the added value of the United Kingdom as a strategic ally and it positions the UK as a vital partner for technological developments. Also, it highlights its financial hub and emphasizes the role of internationalizing the RMB. The paper also subtly displays the sensitive balancing act of the UK: finding new alliances between two superpowers, China and the United States. Yet, the paper leaves critical information out, mainly on the current partnerships of the UK. For example, the AIIB-membership of the UK remains unmentioned, as well as the long-lasting cultural and historical relationship with the US, of which the UK benefitted fro


25 MAY 2018 - 13:07  DOWNLOAD POLICY BRIEF  (PDF) Today’s international business environment is less predictable, more volatile, and involves more politics than in previous decades. The declining economic weight of the United States and growing doubts about its leadership role in global governance have important implications for European companies. There is a growing likelihood of high-profile incidents in which large enterprises suffer major financial and reputational damage from geopolitical risks – whether through sanctions, state-sponsored cyberattacks or geopolitical shocks. But while managers increasingly regard geopolitics as relevant to their activities, for many companies this insight has not yet resulted in changes to their behaviour. In this  Policy Brief  an analysis is presented on the change in the geopolitical landscape, among others caused by the erosion of the US-led liberal international order and the declining role of the US as its main sponsor. Author  Frans-Pa

CONNECTIVITY AND BEYOND: IMPROVING EU/NL-INDIA TIES 25 JUN 2018 13:45 - 17:00 BACK TO RESULTS INTRODUCTION Connectivity and Beyond: Assessing the scope for EU/NL-India Cooperation This symposium is co-organised by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the  Asia Carousel  series and the Clingendael Institute. It contributes to Clingendael's work conducted within the PROGRESS research framework agreement and to Clingendael- IDSA  cooperation within the  EU-India Think Tank Twinning Initiative . For further information please contact Maaike Okano-Heijmans. A unique window of opportunity presents itself in EU and Dutch policy towards India. As the EU and its member states are seeking to deepen relations with so-called ‘like-minded countries’, India under Prime Minister Modi is actively looking for partners in political and economic cooperation. The Netherlands can engage India as a regional and global partner and as a counterweight

Europe Should Defend the Iran Deal Without Burning Bridges to the US 18 May 2018 Precisely because America is more than Trump, it is crucial for Europeans to defend the JCPOA. Dr Robin Niblett CMG Director, Chatham House Twitter Thomas Gomart Director, Institut francais des relations internationales Dr Daniela Schwarzer Director, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik Nathalie Tocci Director, Istituto Affari Internazionali 2018-05-18-E3Iran.jpg Preparations are made for European leaders to meet with Iranian representatives in Brussels on 15 May. Photo: Getty Images. Share     US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), will severely degrade regional and global security. His decision has increased the risk of war and a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and beyond. He has undermined attempts to limit the proliferation of nuclear wea

Af-Pak Digest: MONTHLY H I G H L I G H T S   Ambassador  TCA Raghavan Adviser, Ananta Centre  Former High Commissioner of India to Pakistan MAY 2018 | VOL 02 ISSUE 05 | MONTHLY   H I G H L I G H T S      • Overview      •  Developments in Pakistan                              • Developments in Afghanistan                     I Overview Pakistan : It would be true to say that Pakistan headed into Ramazan 2018 with former PM Nawaz Sharif ensuring that the agenda for debate would continue to be set by him and that it would be on the issue of civil military relations. This was achieved through a press interview in which he spoke about Pakistani role in the Mumbai terrorist attack of 2008 and the thwarting of the legal process to bring the conspirators to justice. The resulting storm will continue through the term of the current government and till the general elections. A caretaker government under a neutral prime minister is expected to take office in end May to conduct the elections and manage the tran

The US-Japan-India-Australia Quadrilateral Security Dialogue: Indo-Pacific alignment or foam in the ocean?

FIIA DOWNLOAD PDF PUBLISHED 05/21/2018 BRIEFING PAPER 239 BRIEFING PAPER 239 INFO   READING MODE In late 2017 the US, Japan, India and Australia re-launched the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, commonly referred to as “the Quad”, marking the revival of a grouping in place during 2007–2008. The move received widespread attention, but was also strongly criticized as a potential anti-China alliance. During the ten-year gap, the four countries have significantly boosted security and defence cooperation, as evidenced by enhanced bilateral ties, regular trilateral dialogues, and expanded military exercises. The underlying motivations, levels of engagement, and views of the Quad as a possible instrument to balance against a strengthening Chinese role in the Indo-Pacific region vary for each of the grouping’s members. In spite of converging interests among the Quad’s members, the tangible risk of provoking China, the unsteady normative foundations of the grouping, the unpredictable i

How 3D Printing Technology Could Change World Trade Five Predictions on the Future of Global Trade 3D printing technology is still in its infancy. However, like many other technologies before it, it could soon develop into a widespread production technology. This would also have a serious impact on international trade.   3D Printing Technology – What is it all about? 3D printers are used to fuse plastics, metals and other raw materials into new objects. The 3D printing process is a so-called  additive  production process that joins materials in layers. This means that only the material input is used, all of which ultimately flows into the manufactured product, without any waste. The current production processes, on the other hand, are  subtractive  manufacturing processes. This means that the required materials are cut and processed (milling, grinding, filing, etc.), which results in the loss of material which rarely can be reused. 3D printing technology therefore leads to a considerable reduction in material waste. This means increased produ