Topic:

India

India and China Are Converging on Afghanistan

| June 7, 2018

The “informal summit” between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan in China in late April generated worldwide interest. Aimed at sidestepping contentious issues and enhancing greater strategic communication at the leadership level, the summit witnessed the two leaders recognizing the “common threat” of terrorism and expressing commitment to cooperate on counter-terrorist measures. However, an issue that largely escaped attention is an agreement between them to work jointly on economic projects in Afghanistan. This has been interpreted as Beijing’s message to Islamabad that China “approves” India’s positive role in stabilizing Afghanistan, a fact already recognized by the Trump administration in its new Afghan policy.

Hope and Optimism: The Indian-Israeli Relationship

| March 6, 2018

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s state visit to India was predictably full of pomp and circumstance. More importantly, it underscored yet again the closeness that now characterizes the bilateral relationship.

Narendra Modi’s Visit to Ramallah

| February 18, 2018

During Indian PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel in July 2017, India finally ended its long practice that dignitaries who visit Israel must also travel to the Palestinian-controlled territories. On February 10, 2018, he conducted a landmark visit to Ramallah, the first such visit by an Indian PM – and did not visit Israel. This “de-hyphenation” of Israel-Palestine reflects Modi’s pragmatic and sensible approach to relations with the two entities.

India and Israel: Strategic Partners on the Move

| January 30, 2018

India and Israel elevated their bilateral relationship to that of a “strategic partnership” in July 2017. While agriculture and opportunities for cooperation in the innovation economy hogged the limelight during both the prime ministerial visits, the defense/security peg of the partnership continues to have the greatest traction. The two countries hope to take it forward with an ambitious agenda that includes joint manufacturing as well as joint research and development.

The Indian-Chinese Conflict: Is It Really Heating Up?

| September 12, 2017

On July 24, 2017, China warned India “not to push its luck” – the latest salvo in a long-running border conflict. India wants the Chinese to stop construction of a road to the “chicken’s neck”: the Doklam plateau in the Himalayan mountain ridge between China and the Kingdom of Bhutan, India’s close ally. This narrow strip of land connects China to northeastern India. The Chinese road, if completed, could ultimately threaten India and would represent a major strategic advantage for the Chinese.

India-US Counterterrorism Cooperation: The Way Forward

| August 8, 2017

Narendra Modi’s visit to the Trump White House in June was his fifth visit to the US since becoming PM of India in 2014, but his first encounter with an American president who does not seem to share his immediate predecessors’ positive view of India. Since Trump’s election on an “America First” platform, there has been apprehension in New Delhi that it might fall off Washington’s radar.

Modi in Israel: Diplomacy and Development

| July 31, 2017

India-Israel defense and intelligence ties developed even before diplomatic relations were established between the countries. The establishment of diplomatic relations opened the door for greater cooperation, but relations remained low-profile until the ascendancy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has given a dynamic push to India’s Israel policy. His recent, long overdue visit to Israel was centered around development-related issues and intensified the bilateral relationship.

Eyes Forward: Modi’s Visit to Israel

| July 31, 2017

Ever since Indian PM Narendra Modi’s ascent to power in May 2014, the possibility has been discussed that he might visit Israel. Three years later, on the 25th anniversary of the establishment of formal relations between the countries, Modi made the historic visit and received a warm welcome. The visit signifies an active Indian foreign policy that stands against the old order as well as a political victory for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, both on the geopolitical level and on the domestic front.

Modi’s Visit – The View from Jerusalem

| July 21, 2017

The visit by the Indian PM Narendra Modi caused many Jerusalemites, like me, a lot of traffic delays. In retrospect, it was definitely a price worth paying. Modi showed remarkable courage by coming to Israel without balancing it with a visit to the Palestinian Authority. His departure from the political correct symmetry pleased the Israelis and signaled that India has decided to act on its national interests. Israelis hope Modi’s pragmatic approach will be emulated by other senior dignitaries coming to Israel.

Shalom, Modi!

| June 30, 2017

The first week in July, Narendra Modi will become the first Indian prime minister ever to visit Israel. Start-ups and defense will be high on his agenda.