A Defining Moment for France and Europe

The future of the French Republic and that of Europe in its present form as the European Union (EU) were at stake in the recent French presidential election. Emmanuel Macron and his movement (not a party as yet) have won. With a voter turnout of 75 per cent, Macron gained about 66.6 per cent of the vote in the second round of this election and his rival, Marine Le Pen, got the remainder.
But figures do not tell us the acute anxiety the French people felt at the time of the election. They felt that it was the future of their republic which was at stake. They voted in fair majority for Macron because they thought he stood for the values on which the republic was founded. Some, about 36 per cent, voted for Marine Le Pen because they thought that she stood for the French Nation whose security was threatened by Muslim immigrants settled in France and their ally, the Islamic jihadists.

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How will US foreign policy change under Trump?

After the stunning upset win over Hillary Clinton in the election on 8 November, President-elect Donald Trump met the incumbent Barack Obama on 11 November to prepare for his swearing-in and assumption of Charge on January 20 next year.
The world waits with bated breath to discover what changes Trump will introduce in pursuit of foreign policy. India is equally concerned and wishes to find out how Trump will be different from his predecessor in his approach towards India and Asia.

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BRICS sees rekindling of India-Russia romance

Though India made it a point to focus on terrorism and managed to underscore “the need for close coordination on tracking sources of terrorist financing and target the hardware of terrorism, including weapons’ supplies, ammunition, equipment and training,” it could not convince China to change its stance on Masood Azhar, leader of the Pakistan-based militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed.

The group has been blamed for attacks on Indian soil in the past, including the 2001 parliament attack in Delhi that took the nuclear-armed rivals to the brink of war.

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India, Russia converge on terror, sign 16 pacts

Underscoring the special and unique nature of their relations, India and Russia have signed 16 pacts in diverse areas, including defence, energy, trade and investment and promoting connectivity that are set to provide added heft to this crucial strategic partnership.

Dispelling speculation about drift in bilateral ties, the leaders of the two countries underscored the special and privileged character of the India-Russia strategic partnership.

The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a luxury hotel in Benaulim on October 15 was marked by warmth, mutual trust and a meeting of minds on a wide gamut of issues, including terrorism.

Highlighting convergence between India and Russia on a range of issues, Mr Modi expressed appreciation of Russia’s “unequivocal condemnation” of the cross-border terror attack in Uri on September 18. “Russia’s clear stand on need to combat terrorism mirrors our own. We deeply appreciate Russia’s understanding and support of our actions to fight cross border terrorism that threatens our entire region. We both affirmed the need for zero tolerance in dealing with terrorists and their supporters,” Mr Modi said at a joint media appearance with Russian President Vladimir Putin here.

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