Foreign Policy News Digest


Kiran Pasricha

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The emergence of India as a strong economic power is receiving widespread recognition in the region and beyond. Today, it has expanded its footprints and engagement in multiple fields across all continents. Accordingly, India’s foreign policy and international conducts should reflect upon its new global stature. In this backdrop, Ananta Aspen Centre is pleased to launch a new initiative — a bi-weekly digest of all the major news related to India’s Foreign Policy. Our sincere effort is to keep you informed and updated on all the major international developments that have implications on India’s foreign policy. Hope you will benefit from the initiative. We value your feedback, comments and recommendations.   

India and the World – an Update

A bi-weekly News Digest on India’s Foreign Policy
(Volume 1 – 11)

June 1st – June 16th, 2014

South Asia


Sharif says he is ‘looking forward to work with Modi’
PTI / The Hindu | June 11th, 2014
A day after he was sworn in, Mr. Modi had held a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart on crucial bilateral issues including terror and speedy trial of Mumbai terror attack case in Pakistan.

Pak violates ceasefire, India reminds it of pre-condition
PTI / Business Standard | June 13th, 2014
In the wake of the incident, fourth since Narendra Modi government took over, India reminded Pakistan that maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border is a “pre-condition” for having a normal relationship between the two countries.



Sushma Swaraj likely to visit Bangladesh this month
PTI / The Indian Express | June 6th, 2014
Bangladesh Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali had written a letter to Swaraj soon after she was sworn in as External Affairs Minister on May 26, felicitating her and inviting her to visit Bangladesh.

Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to ratify border pact with Bangladesh
The Economic Times | June 12th, 2014
“For formalising the LBA, India will ask Bangladesh to open the Tetulia corridor for better connectivity between northeast and rest of India. It will facilitate movement of goods and people to the northeast,” a senior government official said on condition of anonymity.



PM Narendra Modi picks Bhutan for first foreign trip
Hindustan Times | June 5th, 2014
Apart from the economic linkages, Thimphu is a strategic ally of New Delhi as it sits on the Silliguri corridor and is part of Indian defence against any Chinese adventure or assertion  through the Chumbi Valley.

PM Narendra Modi arrives in Bhutan; gets a red carpet welcome
The Indian Express | June 16th, 2014
Modi will hold talks with Prime Minister Tobgay during his visit which will see the two sides exploring ways to boost their ties, particularly in trade and hydro-electricity. He will also address the joint session of the Parliament of Bhutan. He will also inaugurate one of India’s assistance projects – the building of the Supreme Court of Bhutan.

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan nationals protest against ‘undue influence’ from India on Colombo
PTI / Deccan Chronicle | June 10th, 2014
The nationalist allies of President Rajapaksa have been irked by the new Indian government’s insistence on implementing the thirteenth amendment.


Asia – Pacific


Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi meets Sushma Swaraj
PTI / India Today | June 7th, 2014
Also President Xi has already expressed his interest in visiting India after the new government took over and the details may be discussed during Wang’s visit while Modi also extended the invitation for the Chinese President during his telephone talks with Li.

India signals recalibration of China ties
Live Mint | June 8th, 2014
The talks between Wang and Swaraj, which lasted over three hours, touched on all issues of “perennial” interest and concern to both countries, ministry spokesman Akbaruddin said, without elaborating.

Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi signals new effervescence in bilateral ties with India
DNA / June 9th, 2014
Wang said the new government has injected vitality into an ancient civilization and his country was ready to engage with the Modi dispensation.

Modi regime brought new wind of change, says China (Roundup)
IANS / Business Standard | June 9th, 2014
Speaking to media persons, the visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his most important message to Modi was “on your road to national rejuvenation China stands by your side”.



After Beijing, Tokyo calling: Welcome Modi, seal deal
The Indian Express | May 31st, 2014
The Japanese PM Shinzo Abe specifically referred to Modi as a positive opportunity to build on the US-Japan vision for “strengthening trilateral cooperation with like-minded partners to promote peace and economic prosperity in Asia and the Pacific”.

Narendra Modi to visit Japan next month, US in September
Live Mint | June 6th, 2014
Many multilateral events are also scheduled for the next few months where India is usually represented by its top leadership. These include a Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) meeting in Brazil, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly session in New York, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India summit, the East Asia Summit, the Group of 20 developed and developing countries meeting in Australia, and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) summit in Nepal.

India-US-Japan trilateral meet this month
Times of India | June 8th, 2014
The trilateral meeting is likely to focus on issues like cross-border connectivity and humanitarian and disaster response.

The United States

PM Modi accepts Obama invite, off to US in September
Hindustan Times | June 5th, 2014
S Jaishankar, the Indian ambassador to the United States,  is flying to New Delhi on June 8 for consultations with South Block and the prime minister’s office (PMO), and will brief Modi on the relationship and how to take it forward.

US wants to hold annual strategic dialogue in Delhi; John Kerry may travel to India for talks
The Economic Times | June 6th, 2014
US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Desai Biswal is expected to discuss the issue with her Indian counterparts during her trip to the country this weekend. This will be first visit by a high ranking US official since Modi became Prime Minister.

Biswal’s India visit aimed at resetting ties
The Hindu | June 9th, 2014
In meetings with officials who deal with the Americas, as well as Ms. Biswal’s counterpart on Central Asian countries, the two sides will discuss upcoming engagements including the India-US-Japan trilateral talks on June 23-24, as well as the next round of the India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue expected shortly after that.

‘High pace’ Indo-US engagements before Modi-Obama meet
PTI / India TV News | June 10th, 2014
With a “clear signal” from the US that it wants to move on with the new Indian leadership on strengthening strategic cooperation, India has decided to move beyond the Khobragade incident.

Want ties with Modi govt to meet people’s hopes: US
PTI / Hindustan Times | June 10th, 2014
Stressing that the US is committed to US-India relationship, the US Assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, Nisha Biswal said Modi government has received a resounding mandate and people have voted with hope and aspirations and “US wants to partner with India in meeting those hopes and aspirations”.

Obama should hold candid talks to engage Modi: Robert Blackwill
The Economic Times | June 11th, 2014
Blackwill, who played a key role in bringing the US administration closer to Modi, was in Delhi to meet the prime minister, senior ministers and the national security adviser.



French minister to push for Rafale deal?
The Asian Age | June 6, 2014
The proposed deal is currently under a protracted contract negotiation process. France is hoping that the Modi government will soon ink the deal with French firm Dassault for supply of 126 Rafale fighter aircraft.

India recovers 228 million euros from Finmeccanica helicopter deal
Reuters / The Economic Times | June 11th, 2014
India terminated the high-profile contract in January citing a breach of integrity after allegations of bribery emerged in Italy against executives at Finmeccanica’s helicopter unit AgustaWestland a year earlier.


India seeks Russia’s help to secure Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant
PTI / India Today | June 9th, 2014
Sources pointed out, request by India was necessitated after the 2011 Fukushima Daichi incident in Japan due to overheating of the reactor after tsunami hit the plant.

Russia agrees in-principle on India’s nuclear liability law
PTI / Live Mint | June 10th, 2014
India and Russia signed a general framework agreement on unit 3 and 4 in April this year after crossing the initial hurdles of the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act 2010. The agreement could not be signed in October last year when the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Russia, as Moscow had raised objection over some clauses of the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act.


Middle East

Advisory on Iraq travel
The Telegraph | June 15th, 2014
The advisory recommended that those in cities like Baghdad — safe as of now —fly out to India as soon as possible. The Indian embassy has set up 24-hour helplines.


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