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Niranjan Marjani

Vadodara, India
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About Niranjan
Niranjan Marjani is a journalist based in Vadodara, India.
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English Spanish Gujarati
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Interview (Video / Broadcast) Content Writing Risk Analysis
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Uzbekistan's Significance in India's Central Asia Policy

Giorgia Meloni to visit Egypt to curb illegal immigration

17 Mar 2024  |  hechoencalifornia1010.com
Italy, facing an influx of 800 migrants in Lampedusa within 36 hours, is taking steps to curb illegal immigration. Giorgia Meloni will sign a memorandum in Egypt, similar to one with Tunisia, as part of the 'Plan Mattei', a €5.5 billion investment in African development. The visit coincides with a €7.4 billion EU aid package to support Egypt's economy, amidst concerns of increased migration pressure due to conflicts in Sudan and Gaza. Egyptian President El-Sisi has warned of the potential for a Palestinian refugee flow into Egypt due to Israeli operations in Rafah.

Fight Against Climate Change: Morocco's New Strategy

16 Feb 2024  |  www.atalayar.com
Morocco is advancing its fight against climate change with a new strategy focused on green energy and sustainable financing. The country has significantly reduced its energy dependence and increased its renewable energy capacity. Key figures, including Abdellatif Jouahri Wali and Mohamed Kettani, emphasize the role of the banking sector in supporting green initiatives. Morocco's efforts include ambitious national plans and international commitments, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and attract private investment for a sustainable transition.

Preventing Iran from Rebuilding Hamas, a Key Point Once the Gaza War Ends

09 Feb 2024  |  www.atalayar.com
Western capitals, particularly the United States, are planning for the post-war reconstruction of Gaza, focusing on preventing Iran from rebuilding Hamas. The U.S. aims to involve regional leaders and the Palestinian Authority in Gaza's governance. Analysts warn that Iran will likely attempt to rebuild Hamas, similar to its support for Hezbollah. The article highlights the need to disrupt Iran's funding and arms supply to its proxies and establish a legitimate Palestinian security force to counter Iranian influence. The text underscores the strategic importance of preventing a power vacuum that Iran could exploit.

Hostility in Malé Is Weakening India-Maldives Relations

30 Jan 2024  |  Geopolitical Monitor
Relations between India and the Maldives are experiencing tensions due to actions by the Maldives' newly-elected president Mohamed Muizzu. The Maldives' strategic location in the Indian Ocean is vital for India's maritime security, and India has invested in the Maldives' defense infrastructure and training. India is also a key economic partner, being the largest source of tourists and a significant trade partner for the Maldives. However, Muizzu's first state visit to Türkiye and increased engagement with China, including a 'Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,' pose concerns for India. The Maldives has a history of radical tendencies and the proximity to Türkiye and the support for radical ideology under Muizzu's administration increase the threat perception for India. Despite China's growing influence, India's geographical proximity gives it a strategic advantage in the region.

Can Iran Counter Its Rivals in Central Asia Through Connectivity Push?

01 Oct 2023  |  thegeopolitics.com
Central Asia is becoming a battleground for influence among regional and extra-regional powers, with Iran pushing forward connectivity initiatives to strengthen its ties in the region. As Russia's influence wanes due to the war in Ukraine, countries like the US, EU, and Turkiye are also vying for greater presence. Iran's strategic location and projects like the Chabahar Port, INSTC, and Ashgabat Agreement offer it a potential edge. Despite lacking the economic power of its rivals, Iran's connectivity initiatives could help it counter its competitors and revive its struggling economy.

G20 as the facilitator of stronger India-Spain relations

01 Oct 2023  |  Times of India Blog
The G20 Summit has bolstered India's international engagements, enhancing its stature and providing a platform for increased interaction with countries like Spain. Despite the absence of a bilateral meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Spanish President Pedro Sánchez due to the latter's COVID-19 diagnosis, Spain's representation at the summit by high-level officials underscores the growing ties. Strengthening India-Spain relations could expand India's outreach in Europe, benefit from Spain's expertise in renewable energy and smart sustainable cities, and enhance India's presence in the Mediterranean region. The G20 has provided momentum for these bilateral ties, which both countries should capitalize on.

India Must Build Upon Its Recent Engagements in the Western Indian Ocean

01 Oct 2023  |  thegeopolitics.com
India's recent diplomatic engagements in the Western Indian Ocean, including visits by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar to Bahrain, the UAE, and Seychelles, highlight the country's strategic outreach in the region. Historically focused on the Eastern Indian Ocean through policies like the Look East Policy and Act East Policy, India has developed strong ties with Southeast Asia, particularly ASEAN. However, the Western Indian Ocean, encompassing the Middle East and Africa, requires a more balanced approach. While India has established strategic partnerships with Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, its engagement with African nations remains limited. To ensure balanced geopolitical influence in the Indo-Pacific Region, India needs a coherent policy that equally addresses both the Middle East and Africa.

Attendees and Absentees: A Reshape of the G20?

09 Sep 2023  |  News18
The G20 Summit in New Delhi sees significant attendance from Western leaders but notable absences from Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The summit highlights the ongoing geopolitical tensions, particularly China's assertive policies and the Russia-Ukraine War. India, hosting the summit, emphasizes its commitment to the Global South and advocates for reformed multilateralism. The article discusses the potential reshaping of the G20 due to China's growing economic and strategic aggression, contrasting India's inclusive vision with China's confrontational approach.

India and ASEAN need to focus on shared concerns

06 Sep 2023  |  Times of India Blog
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jakarta for the ASEAN-India Summit aims to strengthen India's relations with Southeast Asia, countering China's territorial claims. The summit is crucial for enhancing strategic and economic cooperation, with India already making significant strides through initiatives like the ASEAN-India Maritime Exercise and defense engagements. Challenges include economic cooperation and divisions within ASEAN over Myanmar. Modi's agenda includes increasing trade and addressing the trade deficit with ASEAN, while emphasizing the need for a collective response to China's actions.

PM Modi in Greece: How outreach to Mediterranean region is vital to India’s geopolitical interests

25 Aug 2023  |  www.firstpost.com
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Greece marks the first by an Indian prime minister in 40 years, aiming to strengthen bilateral relations and enhance India's outreach to the Mediterranean region. The Mediterranean is crucial for India's geopolitical interests, connecting three continents and aligning with its Indo-Pacific policy. India's engagement with the region has evolved through three phases, focusing on strategic partnerships with countries like France and Israel, and expanding ties with Egypt, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, and Greece. Defense cooperation remains a key aspect, with India procuring Airbus C-295 aircraft from Spain and Egypt showing interest in the LCA Tejas. Turkey's support for Pakistan on the Kashmir issue has strained its relations with India, which counters by engaging with like-minded countries. Modi's visit to Greece is expected to further solidify India's strategic footprint in the Mediterranean.

Semiconductor as a Geopolitical Instrument for India

14 Aug 2023  |  www.atalayar.com
India is leveraging semiconductors as a key component of its geopolitical strategy, aiming to become a major player in the semiconductor manufacturing sector. The country has launched a significant financial initiative, the Semiconductor Mission, to bolster its capabilities. Despite challenges such as limited infrastructure, India is attracting substantial investments from companies like Micron Technology and Foxconn. The geopolitical rivalry between the United States and China over technology has further influenced India's strategy, with the U.S. supporting India's ambitions. India's engagement with Taiwan, a leading semiconductor manufacturer, is also a strategic move to counter China's dominance. The development of a semiconductor hub is seen as both an economic milestone and a geopolitical tool for India.

Instability in Afghanistan along with the discord with Pakistan does not augur well for South and Central Asian connectivity

01 Aug 2023  |  South Asia Monitor
The article by Niranjan Marjani discusses the challenges facing South and Central Asian connectivity, focusing on the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan (PAKAFUZ) rail project. It highlights Pakistan's geoeconomic strategy to reduce reliance on foreign loans and improve ties with Central Asian Republics. However, the article points out major obstacles such as Pakistan's support for the Taliban, security concerns within Pakistan, and China's role in the region. The deteriorating security situation in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, especially in the wake of the US troop withdrawal, poses a threat to regional stability and economic projects like PAKAFUZ and CPEC. The article also touches on China's investment in Pakistan and its strategic interests in Afghanistan, which could challenge the US-led Quad initiative in the region.

How India has revamped its approach to engage with Sri Lanka amid China's growing presence in the Indo-Pacific Region

21 Jul 2023  |  www.firstpost.com
Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe's visit to India aimed at resetting bilateral relations, focusing on economic ties and strategic cooperation amid China's growing presence in the Indo-Pacific Region. Key developments included discussions on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement, operationalizing India's Unified Payments Interface in Sri Lanka, and port development projects. The visit also addressed the Tamil issue, with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocating for the implementation of the 13th Amendment. India's approach integrates its Neighbourhood First Policy with its Indo-Pacific strategy, countering China's influence through strategic and economic engagements. The article highlights India's proactive support during Sri Lanka's economic crisis and its efforts to present an alternative model of engagement.

Why Does the G7 Need India?

19 May 2023  |  thediplomat.com
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the G-7 Summit in Hiroshima underscores India's growing economic and strategic importance. With a rapidly expanding economy, India offers significant investment opportunities and a young workforce. The country's strategic partnerships with G-7 members and its role in the Indo-Pacific region make it a key player in countering China's influence. Additionally, India's unique position as a mediator between Russia and the West amid the ongoing Ukraine conflict highlights its diplomatic significance. The G-7's engagement with India is crucial for addressing global economic and geopolitical challenges.

Recalibration in the Middle East: Where Does India Stand?

10 May 2023  |  thegeopolitics.com
The Middle East is undergoing significant intra-regional and extra-regional recalibrations, including rapprochements between key states and China's rising influence. India has intensified its diplomatic outreach, exemplified by recent high-level visits and participation in multilateral initiatives. India's engagements are shaped by historical ties, regional dynamics, and the broader US-China rivalry. While India maintains balanced relations with Arab countries, Israel, and Iran, its strategic interests in the Indo-Pacific and connectivity projects like the Chabahar Port influence its approach. The evolving geopolitical landscape underscores India's role as a key stakeholder in the Middle East and the Indo-Pacific region.

What Does India Gain From the Shanghai Cooperation Organization?

01 May 2023  |  thediplomat.com
India, as the current president of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), is hosting meetings leading to a summit in July. India's membership in the SCO aims to enhance Eurasian engagement but faces limitations due to disputes with China and Pakistan, as seen during the recent Defense Ministers' Meeting. The SCO's China-dominated nature and anti-West stance contrast with India's foreign policy, which includes countering China's influence through the Quad and other strategic partnerships. India's bilateral relations with Russia and Central Asia are strong and independent of the SCO, suggesting limited benefits from the group for India.

India Faces a Two-Front Challenge From Post-Coup Myanmar

26 Apr 2023  |  thediplomat.com
The military coup in Myanmar has significantly impacted India's strategic and economic engagements with the country, posing a two-front challenge. Myanmar's increasing alignment with China and the resulting instability have strategic implications for India, particularly in the Indian Ocean and its Northeast region. China's investments and infrastructure projects in Myanmar, such as the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor, are seen as threats to India's security and regional influence. Additionally, the influx of refugees and drug trafficking from Myanmar into India's Northeast complicates the region's social and security dynamics. India's cautious approach contrasts with the Western countries' sanctions on Myanmar, highlighting the geopolitical complexities in the region.

India’s Outreach to Central Asia Amid Geopolitical Flux

24 Apr 2023  |  thegeopolitics.com
The geopolitical shifts caused by the Russia-Ukraine war have created opportunities for China to strengthen its influence in Central Asia, traditionally considered Russia's sphere of influence. India has accelerated its engagements with Central Asia through initiatives like the Connect Central Asia policy, the India-Central Asia Dialogue, and the India-Central Asia Summit. Despite geographical constraints and competition from China, India has made significant diplomatic efforts to enhance connectivity and regional security. China's substantial investments and trade relations with Central Asia face public resistance due to debt diplomacy and treatment of Uyghurs. India's outreach is challenged by China's growing influence and potential geopolitical dilemmas involving Iran and Western countries.

General Elections in India: Background and Trends

29 Mar 2023  |  www.atalayar.com
India is set to hold general elections for the 18th Lok Sabha between April and June 2023, with 970 million voters participating. The BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Indian National Congress are the main parties, with several national and regional parties forming alliances. The BJP is campaigning on cultural nationalism and welfare plans, while the opposition struggles with cohesion and a common agenda. The BJP's 2014 majority win broke the trend of coalition politics, and they are expected to win again. The elections will influence India's future role in the global order.

The Abu Dhabi Hindu Mandir: Strengthening the soft power narrative of India and the UAE

13 Feb 2023  |  Times of India Blog
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the UAE includes the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, the first Hindu temple in the city. This event is significant for both India and the UAE, enhancing their soft power and bilateral relations. For India, the temple symbolizes the growing influence of its culture and foreign policy success, while for the UAE, it strengthens ties with the Indian diaspora and positions the country as a moderate and liberal state in competition with Saudi Arabia. The article also touches on the broader geopolitical and economic dynamics in the Gulf region, including the UAE's strategic interests and its rivalry with Saudi Arabia.

What does the consecration of the Ram Temple in India mean?

26 Jan 2023  |  atalayar.com
On January 22, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the consecration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, a significant event for Hindus worldwide. The temple's construction holds cultural, historical, and political importance, symbolizing the revered Hindu deity Ram and his ideal governance, Ram Rajya. The site has been contentious, with a history of conflict between Hindus and Muslims dating back to 1528 when a mosque was built over the original temple. The current ruling party, BJP, champions cultural nationalism and the temple's construction, which was legally sanctioned by the Supreme Court. The BJP's support for the temple has helped consolidate Hindu voters, weakening the Congress party's electoral base.

Book Review: Maritime Security Complexes of the Indo-Pacific Region

19 Jan 2023  |  The Kootneeti
The book 'Maritime Security Complexes of the Indo-Pacific Region' by Dr Vijay Sakhuja and Dr W. Lawrence S. Prabhakar explores the evolving geopolitical landscape of the Indo-Pacific Region. It applies the Regional Security Complex (RSC) Theory to analyze the region's security dynamics, highlighting the interplay between territorial and regional entities. The book delves into the historical and contemporary relevance of the Indo-Pacific sub-regions, the strategic aspects of the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific Ocean, and the naval nuclear dynamics. It emphasizes the complexity and diversity of the region, moving beyond the binary rivalry between China and democratic nations. The book is recommended for research scholars and general readers interested in the security dynamics of the Indo-Pacific Region.

Can India Push for Multipolarity in a Divided G-20?

16 Nov 2022  |  thediplomat.com
India is set to assume the presidency of the G-20 amidst a divided global order, with significant challenges such as food security, climate change, and economic parity at stake. The article highlights India's balanced diplomatic stance between Russia and the West, its potential role in mediating the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and its unique position in leading both the G-20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. Key figures like Olaf Scholz, Xi Jinping, Emmanuel Macron, and Nicolas Maduro are mentioned in the context of their recent actions and interactions.

Global Crisis and Global South: India’s Role and Response

25 Oct 2022  |  thegeopolitics.com
India's External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar emphasized India's commitment to the Global South and the need for a reformed and effective United Nations. India's foreign policy has historically supported the Global South, stemming from its own colonial past. India advocates for dialogue and diplomacy in the Russia-Ukraine war and calls for respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity. India's role in South-South Cooperation and its position as a link between the developed North and the Global South are highlighted, especially in light of its economic growth and the fifth-largest economy status as per IMF projections. The article also discusses the need for UN reforms to ensure inclusivity and relevance, particularly for countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Pacific Island nations.

Work cut out for the Quad as institutional mechanisms across the world are under strain

23 May 2022  |  Times of India Blog
The Quad Summit in Tokyo faces significant challenges, primarily the need to strengthen its institutional framework amidst the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. The conflict has strained various international organizations like the United Nations, European Union, NATO, and ASEAN, revealing internal divisions. The Quad must maintain its focus on the Indo-Pacific Region, addressing strategic and economic challenges posed by China. India's unique stance on the Russia-Ukraine war, avoiding direct criticism of Russia, requires the Quad to navigate these differences. The recent change in Australia's leadership adds another layer of complexity, with new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's approach yet to be seen. The Quad must avoid the pitfalls seen in other international institutions and concentrate on its strategic and economic priorities in the Indo-Pacific.

The China Factor in India’s Engagements With Europe

01 Apr 2022  |  thediplomat.com
India's recent diplomatic engagements with European leaders, including the European Commission President and foreign ministers from several countries, aim to strengthen relations and address strategic threats from Russia and China. The EU-China Summit highlighted growing tensions, with disagreements over Ukraine, sanctions, and human rights. The Comprehensive Agreement on Investment and the 17+1 initiative face challenges due to these tensions. India's distancing from Russia and closer ties with the West align with European countries' strategic interests, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. Strengthened India-Europe relations could benefit both economically and strategically.

India’s Subtle Shifts Toward the West and Away From Russia

01 Apr 2022  |  thediplomat.com
India has maintained a neutral stance on the Russia-Ukraine war, abstaining from votes at various international bodies while condemning violence and providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Despite its historical defense ties with Russia, India is gradually diversifying its arms imports, increasing purchases from France, the U.S., and Israel. Recent diplomatic engagements with Western countries and the Quad highlight India's focus on the Indo-Pacific region and countering China's aggression. India's indigenization drive and phased import bans on Russian defense items indicate a shift towards reducing dependence on Russian arms.

Ukraine Conflict on Central Asia: Implications for India

15 Mar 2022  |  thegeopolitics.com
The Russia-Ukraine conflict has significant implications for Central Asia, affecting economies and altering international relations. Central Asian countries, once part of the Soviet Union, have remained neutral or abstained from UN votes on the conflict. Economic sanctions on Russia have led to collateral damage in Central Asian economies, with currency volatility and potential drops in remittances. China's abstention from UN votes suggests a complicated relationship with Russia, despite a 'no limits' partnership. India has increased engagement with Central Asia, aiming to counter China's influence and find new connectivity routes, especially after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, the conflict may drive Central Asia closer to China, posing strategic concerns for India. Central Asian countries are advised to diversify their foreign policies beyond the Russia-China competition, while India should continue to build on recent diplomatic momentum.

China’s Maneuvers in the Indian Ocean Region Could Challenge the Existing Institutional Mechanism

08 Feb 2022  |  thegeopolitics.com
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's tour of five Indian Ocean Region countries in January 2022 and his proposal for a forum for Indian Ocean island nations highlight China's strategic maneuvers. The article discusses China's approach to democracy and institutions, contrasting it with the US-led Summit for Democracy. It emphasizes China's unilateral expansionism through the Belt and Road Initiative and its disregard for international law, particularly in the South China Sea. The article calls for existing institutional mechanisms to proactively respond to China's challenges and maintain a multilateral order to counterbalance China's hegemonic tendencies.

Is Regional Integration Still Relevant for India in South Asia?

01 Jan 2022  |  thediplomat.com
India has rejected Pakistan's invitation to the 19th SAARC Summit, citing no material change in the situation since the summit was last canceled in 2016. This reflects India's diminishing interest in SAARC and a shift towards bilateral and multilateral engagements beyond South Asia. The India-Pakistan conflict and the situation in Afghanistan are major impediments to regional integration. Additionally, China's growing influence in South Asia through investments has further complicated regional dynamics. India is now focusing on its Neighborhood First Policy and expanding its global outreach through various international groups and initiatives.

Russia Relations Amid Global Geopolitical Flux

06 Dec 2021  |  thegeopolitics.com
Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to India for the 21st Annual India-Russia Summit marks the first in-person meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2019. The visit, accompanied by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu for the inaugural 2+2 ministerial dialogue, occurs amid global geopolitical tensions. India and Russia navigate complex international relations, balancing ties with the US and China. While India has diversified its foreign policy post-Cold War, Russia's approach remains influenced by Cold War-era rivalries. The article highlights India's strategic engagements, including the Act Far East Policy and the proposed Vladivostok-Chennai Maritime Corridor, and addresses the potential impact of the US's CAATSA sanctions on India due to its acquisition of the S-400 missile defence system from Russia.

Prime Minister Modi's US visit raises many expectations not just for India but for the whole world

22 Sep 2021  |  Prabhasakshi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the United States is significant as it includes personal participation in the United Nations General Assembly, the Quad Summit, and bilateral meetings with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Key issues include the situation in Afghanistan, the role of Quad, and the democratic world order. The Taliban's control over Afghanistan poses a threat to regional security, and India aims to highlight Pakistan-supported terrorism. The Quad Summit will be the first in-person meeting of Quad leaders, emphasizing the need for a formal structure to address challenges such as trade, climate change, and humanitarian aid. India's strategy in the Indo-Pacific and its role in establishing a multipolar world order will be crucial, especially in light of questions about America's credibility following its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Afghanistan May Trigger a Competition Between Russia and China

21 Sep 2021  |  The Geopolitics
The article discusses the geopolitical implications of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, particularly focusing on the interests and potential competition between Russia and China. It highlights the security concerns for both countries, with Russia conducting military drills through the CSTO and China establishing diplomatic ties with the Taliban. The piece explores how Afghanistan could become a battleground for influence in Central Asia, with China's Belt and Road Initiative and Russia's Eurasian Economic Union vying for dominance. It also touches on China's strategic partnerships in South Asia and West Asia, contrasting them with Russia's more limited regional presence. The author suggests that while Russia and China have a partnership against Western influence, their unequal economic relationship and differing approaches to Afghanistan could lead to competition. The article concludes that China's economic diplomacy may be more appealing to Afghanistan and Central Asian countries, given the history and current needs of the region.

Geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific Region Could Shape India-Iran Relations

07 Aug 2021  |  The Geopolitics
The article discusses the recent urgency in India's engagement with Iran, highlighted by the External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar's visits. It explores the backdrop of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban's increased offensive. The article examines the converging and diverging interests of India and Iran in Afghanistan, such as India's concern for its citizens and investments, and Iran's worry about refugee influx and security threats. It also touches on the broader geopolitical implications in the Indo-Pacific Region, including the US's renewed focus on Southeast Asia to counter China, India's naval deployment in the South China Sea, and China's potential to increase its influence in Afghanistan. The piece considers the challenges Iran faces post-US withdrawal, including sanctions and the future of the nuclear deal. It concludes by suggesting that India and Iran may need to recalibrate their relations in the context of Indo-Pacific geopolitics, moving beyond viewing Iran merely as a gateway to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

The Drone Challenge: India's Defence Strategy and Cost Implications for Pakistan

06 Jul 2021  |  The Times of India
The article discusses the implications of the recent drone attacks on the Jammu Air Force station in India, hinting at Pakistan's involvement. It highlights the strategic shift in India's response to terrorism and the increased costs imposed on Pakistan for its alleged support of such activities. The drone attacks are seen as a new challenge for Indian defence forces, necessitating an upgrade in defence systems, particularly against drone threats. The author suggests that while drones may offer a cost-effective means of attack for Pakistan, the long-term consequences, including international scrutiny and potential sanctions, could outweigh the short-term benefits. The article also touches on the broader geopolitical context, including the situation in Afghanistan and the implications for Pakistan's security.

Is India prepared for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan?

02 Jul 2021  |  The Times of India
The article discusses the implications of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, focusing on the rise of the Taliban and the potential increase in China's influence in the region. It highlights the Taliban's role in the Afghan peace process and the concerns of neighboring countries, particularly India. India's shift in policy to engage with the Taliban is noted, driven by concerns over its investments in Afghanistan and the potential spillover of instability into Jammu and Kashmir. The article also explores China's strategic interests in Afghanistan, including economic opportunities and the extension of the Belt and Road Initiative. It suggests that China is poised to fill the strategic void left by the US, with potential impacts on the security and stability of the region. The author concludes that both the Taliban's ascendancy and China's growing influence present significant challenges for India, which has historically focused on development and infrastructure projects in Afghanistan under the US' umbrella.

The Internal and External Impacts of COVID-19 on India

18 Jun 2021  |  Wikistrat
The article discusses the internal and external impacts of COVID-19 on India through a podcast episode by Wikistrat, featuring experts Poornima B and Niranjan Marjani. They explore the devastating second wave of infections in India, the country's vaccine diplomacy, and the shift in focus to domestic needs due to the crisis. The discussion also covers India-Pakistan relations, which have not seen significant progress despite some positive developments. The experts analyze the implications of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan on India's regional relations and the potential for India to engage with the Taliban. Additionally, they reflect on the support India received internationally during the second wave and the challenges in global forums like the WTO and WHO. Finally, they predict major political and social changes in India, including the potential impact on the government's re-election prospects, health infrastructure, education, and the digital divide exacerbated by the pandemic.

La crisis en Ceuta es un desafío en dos frentes para el gobierno de Sánchez

24 May 2021  |  The Kootneeti Español
The article expresses support and solidarity with Spain and its Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez. It emphasizes that Spain's borders are also the borders of the European Union, highlighting the importance of the relationship between Spain and the EU. Furthermore, the article calls for cooperation, trust, and shared commitments as foundational principles for a strong relationship between the European Union and Morocco. This suggests a focus on the diplomatic and strategic ties between the EU, Spain, and Morocco, possibly in the context of border security, migration, or other collaborative efforts.

Elections in Madrid: Interview with Almudena Negro Konrad

23 Apr 2021  |  The Kootneeti Español
The upcoming Madrid Community elections on May 4th are highlighted by the 26-year governance of the Partido Popular (PP), which seeks to continue its trend against the PSOE's challenge. Almudena Negro Konrad, PP leader and deputy in the Madrid Assembly, discusses the dissolution of the Assembly, the campaign slogan 'Freedom', and the ideological battle against totalitarian forces threatening liberal democracy. The interview covers Madrid's economic growth despite the pandemic, the PP's support for SMEs, and the impact of the national 'Plan España Puede'. The PP's stance on immigration is inclusive, supporting legal immigrants seeking opportunity. The interview also touches on the competition with Vox and the importance of Madrid's autonomy.

COVID-19 and security concerns impact Myanmar’s seafood industry

01 Jan 2021  |  aseantoday.com
Myanmar's seafood industry is struggling due to security issues in Shan State and China's trade restrictions following COVID-19 outbreaks. The industry, which employs 3.5 million people, has seen a significant drop in international orders and increased transport costs, with 1 million jobs lost. Overland trade, accounting for 60% of marine exports, is now funneled through the Muse-Kyin San Kyawt route, raising expenses. The government has been urged to provide economic assistance, and the Asian Development Bank predicts a 6% economic growth which could aid recovery. Ongoing conflicts in Shan State further disrupt trade, with several ethnic armed groups not part of a 2015 peace deal and ceasefires proving ineffective.

What are the implications of China’s growing footprint in the European Union?

30 Dec 2020  |  Times of India Blog
The EU and China have agreed to an investment deal aimed at balancing economic relations, granting EU companies access to Chinese markets in various sectors while offering China concessions in manufacturing and energy. This deal, significant in the context of Brexit and the RCEP, poses challenges for the US, particularly as President-Elect Joe Biden prepares to take office. The deal could exacerbate US-China rivalry and complicate US-EU relations. For India, the deal means increased competition with China for EU trade partnerships and potential impacts on Indo-Pacific geopolitics. Turkey's strained relations with the EU and its potential alignment with China over the Uighur issue and economic interests are also noteworthy. The deal is poised to influence economic and strategic priorities within and outside the EU, presenting challenges for the US, India, and other competitors.

Biden Must Aid India’s Quest for Multilateral Reforms

01 Dec 2020  |  thediplomat.com
With Joe Biden set to assume the U.S. presidency, there is debate on the future of India-U.S. relations. While Trump took a confrontational approach towards global institutions, Modi has been a vocal supporter of multilateralism. Biden is expected to adopt a conciliatory stance, potentially resetting U.S. engagement with global institutions like the U.N. and NATO. Modi has called for institutional reforms to reflect contemporary geopolitical realities, and Biden's vision for foreign policy aligns with strengthening democracy and a rules-based order. Strengthening and reforming institutional mechanisms could further enhance India-U.S. bilateral relations.

Will withdrawal from the RCEP damage India’s relations with Southeast Asia?

15 Nov 2020  |  aseantoday.com
India's withdrawal from the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) raises questions about its future relations with ASEAN nations. India's concerns about trade imbalances and the influx of Chinese products led to its exit from the RCEP, which includes all 10 ASEAN members and other countries. India's decision may affect its engagement with Southeast Asia, as it has been working to strengthen ties through its Act East Policy and existing FTAs. With ASEAN countries likely to focus on RCEP, India risks isolation and must find new ways to engage with the region while addressing its domestic economic concerns and ongoing conflict with China.

Spain characterizes October by adding more political events

29 Oct 2020  |  The Kootneeti
In October, Spain saw significant political events, including the declaration of a state of alarm by President Pedro Sánchez due to COVID-19, ongoing disputes between Madrid and Catalonia, and internal political fragmentation. The state of alarm, excluding the Canary Islands, includes a night curfew and requires Congress approval for extensions. Historical tensions between Madrid and Catalonia persist, with recent legal actions against Catalan leaders. Additionally, disputes between the Government of Spain and the Community of Madrid, political fragmentation, and challenges to institutions like the monarchy and judiciary have marked the month. The political landscape remains unstable, with no clear resolution in sight.

Stabilizing relations with Spain is a challenge for China

03 Sep 2020  |  The Kootneeti
Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi's visit to Spain aims to stabilize turbulent relations, impacted by COVID-19 and faulty testing kits. Spain's Eurocentric policy and political instability, along with EU-China relations, shape its approach. China's COVID-19 diplomacy and investments, including in Spanish ports, are crucial. Huawei faces setbacks, with Telefónica reducing 5G equipment purchases. Spain's strategic autonomy and geopolitical importance necessitate cautious engagement with China, balancing economic ties and avoiding debt-diplomacy.

Beirut Blasts – Deep-rooted causes and far-reaching effects

14 Aug 2020  |  The Kootneeti
The Beirut blasts on August 4, caused by the explosion of improperly stored ammonium nitrate, resulted in over 160 deaths, thousands of injuries, and significant property damage. The incident highlights Lebanon's deep-rooted issues of political instability, corruption, and economic crisis. Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned amid widespread protests demanding political reforms. French President Emmanuel Macron's visit and subsequent international aid efforts underscore the global concern, but the article stresses the need for internal political reforms to address Lebanon's longstanding problems.

The scope for new normality in the India-EU relations

15 Jul 2020  |  Times of India Blog
India and the EU will hold a virtual summit on July 15, co-chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Council President Charles Michel, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The summit, initially scheduled for March, was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The article discusses the need for a new normality in India-EU relations, addressing challenges such as Brexit and China's aggression. It highlights the potential for strategic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, maritime security, and data security. The EU remains India's largest trading partner, and there is scope for improving trade relations. The Covid-19 crisis and China's actions present an opportunity to restructure India-EU relations.

Will the world order really change after the COVID-19 crisis?

20 Apr 2020  |  Times of India Blog
The COVID-19 crisis has significantly impacted global politics, with major powers like the US and China continuing their pre-existing rivalries. The US has maintained its stance of challenging institutions and blaming China, while China has been active in providing international assistance and continuing its assertive activities in the Indo-Pacific region. Middle powers such as India, Vietnam, South Korea, and Taiwan have emerged as key players by effectively managing the pandemic and providing aid to other countries. The economic aftermath of the crisis is a major concern, with China showing signs of recovery. Middle powers have an opportunity to leverage their capabilities to attract manufacturing units and boost their economies. The world order may shift to give these middle powers a more significant role in international politics.

COVID-19 is an opportunity to strengthen India-Spain relations

13 Apr 2020  |  es.thekootneeti.in
The COVID-19 crisis presents an opportunity for India and Spain to strengthen their bilateral relations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pedro Sánchez discussed the need for international cooperation to combat the pandemic. The article explores the potential benefits of increased cooperation, including diversified international engagements, economic opportunities, and sharing best practices in health and renewable energy. It emphasizes the importance of redefining globalization to address current challenges while maintaining a cooperative approach within the existing system.

India’s Quiet Responses Against Turkey’s Diplomatic Offensive

01 Mar 2020  |  thediplomat.com
India has been strategically countering Turkey's pro-Pakistan and anti-India stance, particularly on the Kashmir issue, by isolating Pakistan internationally and responding to Turkey's diplomatic offensives. India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has engaged with leaders of countries in dispute with Turkey, cancelled a visit to Turkey, cut defense exports, and issued a demarche to Turkey's envoy. India also secured a defense deal with Armenia and is looking to reset ties with Malaysia following a regime change. India's foreign policy separates domestic politics from international relations, focusing on nation-state interests over religious communities, and has strengthened ties with Saudi Arabia and the UAE while maintaining distance from Turkey.

The BJP and the Opposition in India: Between Narrative and Numbers

01 Jan 2020  |  thediplomat.com
The BJP experienced significant losses in state assembly elections across six major states from December 2018 to December 2019, reducing its control from 70% to 34% of India's total area. Despite these setbacks, the BJP secured a decisive victory in the 2019 general elections, winning 303 seats. The article attributes the BJP's success to its strong narrative on economic reforms, social welfare, foreign policy, and national security. Challenges for the BJP include maintaining alliances within the National Democratic Alliance and focusing on state-specific issues during assembly elections. The opposition, primarily composed of regional parties and a weakened Congress, struggles with unity and lacks a compelling narrative to counter the BJP's vision. The article emphasizes the importance of narrative in political success, suggesting that numbers alone are insufficient to challenge the BJP's dominance.

India’s Act East Policy is Progressing but with a Hangover

03 Feb 2018  |  intpolicydigest.org
India's Act East Policy, aimed at strengthening economic and strategic ties with Southeast Asia, has made significant progress but is hindered by a lingering 'continental mindset' that prioritizes land over maritime strategies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the importance of the Northeast region as a gateway to ASEAN during a summit in Assam. Despite ongoing projects like the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway and the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, there is a need for greater maritime awareness, particularly in leveraging the strategic location of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The article highlights the necessity for India to enhance its naval capabilities and budget to effectively counter China's influence in the region.
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