In the civilisational receptacle that is Turkiye and Syria, a composite culture developed with the practice of different faiths, a tradition that continues even today despite the recent wars. The earthquake’s tragedy can be overcome by rebuilding this ethos, and hopefully, by regional rebonding.
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The International Monetary Fund’s recent warning of a slowing global trade comes as a sign for South Asia to reassess its regional trade within the continent. India, in its year of G20 Presidency and as South Asia’s largest economy, can use its platform to lead the way via dialogue, capacity building, and regulatory policies to encourage open regionalism in Asia.
The Gulf is increasing its diplomatic weightage globally. The maximum acceleration has been by the UAE, which is leveraging its advantages of economy, location, and connectivity to position itself as a key regional and geopolitical facilitator.
Frene Noshir Ginwala, best known as the first Speaker of independent South Africa’s democratic parliament, died at age 90, on 12 January, 2023. A contemporary of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo, she belonged to a special generation of South Africans who fought hard and long for their country’s freedom.
February 1, 2023 marks the second anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar. The country is now in a dire situation with a deteriorating economy, rising poverty and high unemployment. ASEAN, the UN and India continue to work with the Myanmarese military leadership, which is the only player able to provide solutions to alleviate the distress.
Egyptian President El Sisi being the chief guest at India’s Republic Day reflects the importance assigned to it by India. At the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe, Egypt is an essential gateway for trade and investment. Its diplomatic presence in the Arab world and Africa, with the largest standing army in Africa, makes it a pivotal player for India which is increasing its footprint in West Asia and Africa.
India’s new policy of allowing foreign universities to set up their operations in India offers an unprecedented opportunity for Indian cities to revitalise themselves. In Mumbai, the city and state administration can reposition the central business district of Nariman Point and turn this tip of the Arabian Sea into a vibrant international education hub. The model of Lower Manhattan is applicable.
The recent Voice of the Global South Summit in New Delhi attracted 125 developing countries, and some tangible outcomes for India to carry to its G20 presidency agenda. It showed India's equity to be intact, despite a perception that in the past decade, India has moved away from NAM and closer to the developed West.
Russia has been at the center of tensions between the G7 and G20. The current G20 and G7 Presidency has put Asia at the center of global problem-solving and collaboration. India and Japan through its existing strong bilateral and converging interests like economic and financial governance, health, climate commitments and energy transition can bridge the rift between the two multilateral groupings in 2023.
Egypt’s President El-Sisi will be the chief guest for India’s Republic Day parade on Jan 26 this year. There are compelling reasons for coming closer together, historical and current, geopolitical and regional. West Asia is India’s backyard with vital security, energy and economic interests at stake, and here Egypt has a privileged position that India can leverage.