This speech was delivered at ‘Industry Meet 2018’, organised by the Indian Institute of Management, Indore, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, on 7 July 2018
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Obama’s strategy to target the IS in Syria within the framework of a U.S.-led international coalition has met with a tepid response. There are reports that the U.S may offer India a non-NATO ally status during Modi’s upcoming visit in a bid to seek greater support – a gesture that India will do well to disregard.
The rise of the militant ISIS will alter the stability and future of all West Asian countries, and can impact India in multiple ways. India must re-evaluate its West Asia policy, and address the safety of its nationals in Iraq, the security of its oil supplies, and the fallout on South Asia of this resurgence of strife
The recent UNSC Resolution, which mandates the complete destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons, demonstrates that after more than a year, a degree of international agreement on the Syrian issue has been possible. In the evolving situation, Russia will now emerge as a major player
The Arab uprisings show no sign of closure, and have become amorphous. While New Delhi has so far been immunised from the political and religious dimensions of the uprisings, the rise of political Islam, Islamic governance, and continuing instability will impact India.
India’s relations with Islamic nations, many of which are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), have become even more prolific over the last decade. While India does not visualise becoming a member of a religious international body, many reasons militate against our formally joining the OIC.
U.S. President Barack Obama will certainly have the benefit of continuity in his second term, but he has a range of impending crises to address immediately - be it to avert the so-called fiscal cliff before the end of the year when automatic cuts kick in or plan for the military drawdown from Afghanistan.
With the Free Syrian Army being supplied aid by the West and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the endgame for the Syrian regime has begun. Does Assad's exit guarantee the replacement of autocracy with democracy? What implications will it have on regional politics?
The involvement of Islamists in democratic movements is usually dismissed as a mere ruse to attain political power. However, evidence suggests that people in Muslim-majority democracies support Islamist groups which challenge a dishonest government, rather than those who seek to establish Islamic autocracy.
Apart from bilateral ties, also at play at the India-U.S. Strategic dialogue is the difficult triangulation in India’s relations with the U.S. and Iran. It does not serve India to get enmeshed in the U.S-Iran confrontation. Instead, the relationship must develop on the basis of realpolitik and mutual interest.