Indian PM Narendra Modi to Visit Myanmar, Australia and Fiji

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have an unusually-long 10-day foreign trip starting November 11, 2014. “Starting 11th November I would be travelling to Myanmar, Australia and Fiji to participate in various summits and bilateral meetings,” Modi said in a statement. The Indian PM is to attend two key multilateral summits – ASEAN & East Asia Summits – in Myanmar. “Our ties with South East Asia are deep rooted. Strengthening relations with ASEAN nations is…

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Geopolitics of the Syrian Civil War

By Reva Bhalla International diplomats will gather on January 22 in the Swiss town of Montreux to hammer out a settlement designed to end Syria’s three-year civil war. The conference, however, will be far removed from the reality on the Syrian battleground. Only days before the conference was scheduled to begin, a controversy threatened to engulf the proceedings after the United Nations invited Iran to participate, and Syrian rebel representatives successfully pushed for the offer…

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Manmohan Singh’s speech at the 68th UN General Assembly

September 28, 2013 Your Excellency, President of the General Assembly, Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Let me first of all congratulate you, Mr. President, on your election to the presidency of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly. We wish you every success and we assure you of our fullest co-operation. Mr. President, At a time when the world is facing multiple challenges, there is renewed attention on the role of the United Nations…

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Manmohan-Obama joint statement

September 27, 2013 Washington DC The Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh and the President of the United States of America Barack Obama met this morning followed by a working luncheon at the White House. Marking their third bilateral summit, the two leaders reflected proudly on the transformation of United States-India relations during the last decade, affirming that the partnership between the two democratic nations is stronger today than at any point in their…

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India’s exports rebound

Is Indian economy slowly coming out of the woods? The country’s February exports figures seem to indicate so. The latest exports data, released today, showed that India exported goods worth $26.26 billion in February, a slight improvement over January’s $25.5 billion. When compared to the figures in February last year, the latest exports figures show a growth of 4.23 per cent. This is the second consecutive month that India is showing improvement in exports. Prior…

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Inadequate Budget for India’s defence forces

Amid a slowing economy and dismal foreign investor confidence in the country, India has sought to present a subdued annual Budget for the next financial year (April 2013 to March 2014). In the Budget released on 28 February, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram proposed to tax the super rich, and increase allocation to pro-poor schemes such as National Food Security programme. Defence spending has got a moderate increase of five per cent over the last year’s…

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Delhi gang rape protests shadow Putin’s India visit

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to India comes at a most inopportune time. New Delhi is witnessing an unprecedented massive protest campaign – mostly led by the city’s University students – against the increasing incidence of rapes in the capital city. The latest trigger is the gang rape of a 23-year-old para medical student in private bus last week. As Delhi will likely remain a fortress today with India Gate – the epicentre of the…

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Japan’s LDP sweeps to power

After about three years in opposition, Japan’s conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won the national parliamentary elections on Sunday, paving the way for former Prime Minister 58-year-old Shinzo Abe’s return to power.  LDP and allies won 325 seats in the 480-seat lower house. Abe, who is widely described as “hawkish” and “nationalist”, was Japan’s PM during 2006-2007. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda accepted the defeat of his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Political observers hope this…

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Egyptian Military Forces Morsi To Compromise

Three weeks after issuing it, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi today revoked the controversial decree that gave him sweeping emergency powers. This is expected to defuse the violent protests and growing political tension gripping the country. The decision came after exhaustive talks among representatives of Muslim Brotherhood, the political movement to which Morsi belongs. Although invited, the umbrella opposition group, National Salvation Front, boycotted the meeting. Interestingly, Morsi’s backing down came soon after the powerful Egyptian…

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Is China smiling as India-Male relations sour?

The row between the Maldives and an Indian company, GMR Group, over the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport in the tiny island nation, threatens to mar the otherwise friendly relations between the two countries. In the latest development, a higher court in Singapore ruled on 6 December 2012 that Maldives can do what it wants with the airport, which the Indian company is developing, and even take over it. If GMR has to withdraw, it will…

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