Netanyahu pitches for India-Israel alliance of democracies

Netanyahu pitches for India-Israel alliance of democracies

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Underlining the civilizational and democratic connects between India and Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, in his speech at the third edition of the Raisina Dialogue talked about the need to build power in an increasingly insecure world.“The weak don’t survive. The strong survive. You make peace with the strong. You ally with the strong”, he said like a true realist.
The Israeli leader outlined four types of power- military, economic, political and the power of values- that democracies like India and Israel should focus on. Therefore, building submarines, cyber capabilities, science and technology, interceptors are an essential component of the developmental goals.

Netanyahu in India: Modi hug & soaring hopes

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Hugs, personal bonding and effusive sentiments about India-Israel relations marked the first few hours of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s maiden trip to India.In a special gesture, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi went beyond official protocol to personally receive Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Delhi airport. Mr Modi’s trademark hug and warm expression of friendship set the tone for six-day visit of the Israeli leader to India. Mr Netanyahu is leading a delegation of 130 businessmen from 102 Israeli companies and expects to take relations between the two nations together with the Indian leader to “new heights”.
“Indian Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi is a close friend of Israel and of mine and I appreciate the fact that he will accompany me on extensive parts of my visit,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said just before leaving for New Delhi.After the arrival the leaders headed for a ceremony to rename Teen Murti Chowk in central Delhi as Teen Murti-Haifa Chowk, in memory of the Hyderabad, Jodhpur and Mysore Lancers who carried out a brave assault to liberate the Israeli port city of Haifa during the First World War.

Moving beyond UN vote, Israel, India focus on soaring future

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Moving beyond intricate chessboard of geopolitics in West Asia, India and Israel are set to fashion a robust partnership of the future, revolving around technology and innovation during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s maiden trip to the Asian country.
Days before Mr Netanyahu’s visit, India had voted against the unilateral declaration of Jerusalem by the US in the UN, triggering speculation about New Delhi’s commitment to taking the India-Israeli relationship forward. Now these apprehensions have been dispelled as the Israeli leader began his six-day visit to India on January 14, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi personally receiving his “friend” at the airport. Ahead of his visit, Mr Netanyahu had clarified that although he was disappointed, one vote won’t affect this relationship of the future.

With China on mind, US envoy pitches for economic, military ties with India

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Amidst shifting geopolitical equations in the Asia-Pacific region, US Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster has called for forging a robust strategic economic partnership with India and pitched for enhanced defence collaboration across the spectrum.In a defining speech on India-US relations, organised by Carnegie India and the US Embassy in New Delhi, Mr Juster projected the growing importance of India-US ties and the need to “build upon this foundation in a flexible but purposive manner”.The US ambassador’s big-picture presentation of India-US relations comes ahead of a likely meeting later this month between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos.
Economic ties through strategic lens
Proposing a Free Trade Agreement with India in future, the ambassador pointed out that India could be an alternative for US companies exiting China. He also assured that US President Trump’s call of “America first” and Indian Prime Minister Modi’s “Make in India” initiatives are not “incompatible” since mutually beneficial investment in each other’s markets increases the prospects of economic interaction and a robust trade leading to the technological collaboration and creation of jobs. While India-US trade has grown from $20 billion in 2001 to $115 billion in 2016, the trade deficit in favour of India stands at $30 billion and many US companies are unhappy with the protective barriers put in place by India.
“Increased heft in our economic relationship would necessarily provide a broader and deeper, long-term U.S. commitment to India and the Indo-Pacific region. This would complement our growing defence and counter-terrorism partnership, and moderate any policy differences that might arise along the way,” he said.

Maldives envoy’s visit tries to reset troubled ties with India

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India’s relations with the Maldives, the picturesque atoll nation in the Indian Ocean, has been in rough waters for some time now. The ongoing visit of Maldivian Foreign Minister Dr Mohamed Asim as a special envoy of President Yameen Abdul Gayoom to Delhi is seen as an attempt to reset this crucial relationship, underpinned by close geographical proximity, strategic calculations and development partnership.
“While there is no specific agenda for the visit, we expect close bilateral consultations,” Mr Asim said. He added that the focus would be on advancing bilateral ties on the basis on pacts signed during President Abdulla Yameen’s visit to Delhi in April 2016. He is accompanied by Foreign Secretary Ahmed Sareer and Aishath Azeema, joint secretary in Maldives foreign ministry.

Shaping a New India with diaspora: Investment, infrastructure, e-governance

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Hailing the 31.2-million strong Indian diaspora spread around the world as the indispensable component in India’s growth story, the prime minister and president of India have exhorted the overseas Indian community to spur India’s development and economic renaissance.
“We are also at the cusp of New India – an India that will achieve certain milestones for our people by 2022, when we celebrate the 75th year of our Independence,” President Ram Nath Kovind said at the People of India Origin (PIO) Parliamentarian Conference in New Delhi on January 10. The conference was organised by Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad in association with the PIO Chamber of Commerce and Industry and India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

Ancient Route, New Journey: Building diaspora bridge between India & ASEAN

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The two-day grand celebration of the ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conference in Singapore saw an intermingling of culture and cuisine of India and Southeast Asia, whose ties go back centuries. Addressing a gathering of around 3000 delegates at the Regional PBD entitled, ‘Ancient Route, New Journey: Diaspora in the Dynamic ASEAN-India Partnership,” India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj cheered the role of the Indian diaspora in Singapore in bringing the two regions closer to each other.
“I see the symbols of our ties: on the streets, in life at homes…in the rituals of diverse states, in the symbols and sounds of languages, in the poetry of the dances, in the melody of the music and in the flavours of the food,” she said.
ASEAN countries are home to around 6 million overseas Indians, a fifth the 31 million-strong Indian diaspora, comprising both Indian citizens abroad and Persons of Indian origin.
With India’s dialogue partnership with ASEAN now upgraded to a strategic partnership, the diaspora becomes a crucial link.

Finally,US cracks the whip,freezes aid to Pakistan

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After months of threats and warnings to Pakistan for failing to act against terror groups like the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network, the US administration has finally acted and suspended around USD 1.15 billion security assistance to its long-time ally. This follows President Donald Trump’s tweet on the New Year to hold up $255 million in foreign military aid to Islamabad.The suspension of US aid to Pakistan is a vindication of the long-standing stance of India, which has repeatedly argued that the US aid has been diverted by Pakistan to support and nurture terrorism in the region.
“Today we can confirm that we are suspending national security assistance only, to Pakistan at this time until the Pakistani government takes decisive action against groups, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani Network. We consider them to be destabilising the region and also targeting US personnel. The US will suspend that kind of security assistance to Pakistan,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters.

Talks to resume between two Koreas, Trump claims credit

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For the first time since 2015, North Korea and South Korea have agreed to hold official talks to defuse mounting tensions between them. This comes ahead of the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea and shortly after the US and South Korea decided to delay a joint military exercise.South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon confirmed that the talks are to be held on January 9 in Panmunjom, a border truce village. In his New Year address, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed his interest in resuming talks with it’s neighbour and participating in the Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeongchang, a calculated response perhaps to US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s announcement to reschedule the military drills after the Olympics.

Ahead of summit, Swaraj embarks on ASEAN outreach

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It’s the Act East season in India. Ahead of the India-ASEAN summit in Delhi which will mark the silver jubilee of this burgeoning partnership, India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has embarked on a three-nation tour of Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.
The minister’s ASEAN trip will focus on deepening political, defence and economic ties with these countries that are dynamic economies and have a significant Indian-origin population.
In a unique gesture, India has invited the leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries to participate in the Republic Day celebrations, which underscores the growing salience of the region in India’s foreign policy calculus.