Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first foreign visit in his second term to Sri Lanka and the Maldives shows the Indian government’s traditional diplomatic emphasis on the “Neighbourhood First” Policy. It is necessary for India to maintain an amicable relationship with its immediate neighbours to achieve its aspiration as a global power as these nations are economically and strategically important. However, for the past few years, India has faced challenges while maintaining bilateral relations with the neighbouring nations. Now, the government is taking measures to address these challenges to obtain a strategic advantage in the region.
Since time immemorial, both India and Africa had maintained close ties with each other, both economically and politically. India and the African nations have suffered the common colonial past and are currently striving to become developed nations.
Africa holds enormous potential, for it is rich with natural resources that are both economically and strategically important. The current government has valued the India-Africa ties and is undertaking all measure to improve the historical connections with Africa.
India’s two top dignitaries, President Ram Nath Kovid and Defence Minister Rajnath Sigh have undertaken important visits Africa between July and August this Year. President Ram Nath Kovind had visited Benin, Gambia, and Guinea-Conakry, while the Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited Mozambique. These visits showcase India’s increasing focus in Africa.
In a recent development, the Turkish government condemned the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh in which 22 Indian security personnel were killed. While this is not the first time that Turkey has shown solidarity with India concerning domestic issues, it is interesting to note such a reaction from Turkey at a time when the relationship between both countries is not on good terms. For the last few years, the relationship between these nations has been turning sour on various grounds and both are trying to revitalise the relationship as Turkey has a major role to play in the Afghan peace process which has ramifications for India as well.
Recently India’s decades long effort to get the full membership of the 2nd largest intergovernmental group – the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) got the huge boost when it attended the OIC’s 46th session of council of foreign ministers meeting at Abu Dhabi as a guest of honour on the invitation by the host country – United Arab Emirates (UAE).It has to be noted that, India has never been invited to the OIC before and the latest development comes at a time when the India-Pakistan tension is running high, is being seen as a diplomatic success.
Virtual meeting of RIC foreign ministers was held amid rising tensions in the disputed Ladakh region between India and China. Originally planned for March 2020 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was conducted as Russia’s initiative to mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II, which resulted in the formation of the UN. The grouping has a high dependence on Russia’s close diplomatic ties with both India and China. While the Russian side maintained that it would not mediate between India and China, it also reiterated its support to India’s bid for permanent membership in the UNSC.