The talking points for Prime Minister Modi's upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia will include the obvious: oil, diaspora and economic engagement. What remains to be seen is how both countries differing relations with Iran and Pakistan might affect the dialogue.
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The power game in Myanmar has become clearer with the election of U Htin Kyaw as President. However unanswered questions remain as to the role of NLD leader, Aung Suu Kyi in this new government as well as how Myanmar will operate with two very different groups at the steering wheel.
A more robust foreign policy initiative is required for India to be seen as a serious player in the future of Afghanistan. Building dams and roads has ensured its presence as a partner in rebuilding the country, but its conservative handling of Afghan issues must be challenged, perhaps by following the Iran route, to push forward its geostrategic interests.
Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies, Gateway House delivered a lecture on India's Act East Policy at Jadavpur University, Kolkata on 10 March, 2016 as part of the Ministry of External Affairs' 'Distinguished Lecture Series.'
With a cessation of hostilities been brokered by Russia and the United States, the conflict in Syria has entered a tense pause. India has had a bystander attitude to the conflict in Syria. However, with the truce expected to be short, does India have the incentive or the option to depart from its current position, and deepen its engagement in Syria?
With the increase in allocation to the agriculture sector in Budget 2016, the Modi government has revealed a renewed tilt towards rural India. How this financial roadmap will lead to revitalizing agriculture and developing rural India will depend on the politics.
Prime Minister Modi's energetic foreign policy and travel has focused on attracting foreign investments. But the task of translating commitments into investments on the ground rests with the Ministry of External Affairs. And the MEA needs greater resources to realise the benefits of Modi's deepening economic diplomacy abroad.
Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia participated as a panelist at edition VIII of the Delhi Dialogue hosted by IDSA.
The recent cyber attack on Ukraine’s power grids is indicative of the cyber space becoming the most useful tool for perpetuating geopolitical rivalries. Many countries are rapidly expanding their offensive cyber capabilities, and it appears the militarisation of cyber space is complete.
Vice President Ansari’s recent visits to Brunei and Thailand provided further clarity to the Act East Policy while advancing its implementation. He effectively showcased that the rationale for a strong India-ASEAN strategic partnership is sharper than before.