• November 4, 2015
  • 13
All India Radio
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[AIR Spotlight topic on 3rd November 2015 is “Political unrest in Nepal”. This is not much useful for the exam.

Hence we picked up the summary of “President’s Visit to West Asia” from the programme “Weekly Current Affairs”]

President of India has recently visited Israel, Palestine and Jordan. The region has been brewing with conflicts since decades and has geopolitical significance to India.

Importance of the visit

  • Multi-vector approach adopted in the Indian foreign policy [relations with multiple nations]
  • First ever state visit to these three nations by the Head of the State
  • It is symbolic in nature.
  • Visit conducted at three levels: Political, Bilateral, and People-to-people

India – Palestine

  • India recognised the “Palestine state” in 1988
    • A state should contain
      • Territory
      • People
      • Government
      • Sovereignty
      • External Recognition
    • Many nations did not recognize the Palestine state, including the US
    • In the 1947 UN Resolution of partition of Palestine to create Israel, India voted against the resolution
    • India saw merit in the Palestinian right of “Self Determination
    • In the UN, many times India has voted in favour of Palestine supporting it in many issues: against Israel’s construction of security wall, supporting membership in UNESCO etc.
    • Recently, Palestine admitted into the UN as non-member observer state


India – Israel

  • Israel was created on the basis of religion (Jews) in 1948 according to a UN resolution
  • India recognized Israel in 1950
  • Full diplomatic relations between India and Israel started from 1992
  • Defence and Agriculture cover the major part of relations
  • Indian President recently said in Israel “Religion cannot be the basis of a modern state
  • Within the Jews, there are multiple classifications and cultures: Russian Jews, Black Jews, Arab Jews, Indian Jews, European Jews etc.
  • Growing polarisation between these multiple cultures
  • Israel always had coalition governments
  • Hence, Indian President also emphasized on political stability and social justice


India on Israel and Palestine

  • India wanted to see a Palestine state existing along with Israel with recognized and clearly demarcated borders
  • President quoted Mahatma Gandhi: “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French
  • Similarly, India wanted a sovereign, independent, viable and a united Israel with East Jerusalem as its capital
  • In other words, India supports “two state solution” i.e. The state of Israel and the state of Palestine existing side-by-side peacefully.
  • But this is a highly complicated solution. There are issues of:
    • Land settlements
    • Water sharing
    • Prisoners
    • Question of Jerusalem
    • Aggressive govt in Israel
  • India’s stand is based on the principles in international law & political theory, and on its long standing support to de-colonisation and self determination.
  • Efforts made in the past to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict: Madrid Peace Conference, Oslo Peace Accord, Camp David Summit, Arab Peace Initiative, Road Map for Peace initiative by the ‘quartet’ (US, EU, UN, and Russia) and many others.


India – Jordan 

  • India is Jordan’s 4th largest trade partner
  • By 2025 bilateral trade can reach $5 billion. This is not very significant.
    • Trade with UAE ~$75 billion
    • Trade with GCC > $125 billion
  • Bulk of the trade with Jordan is in fertilizers (Rock Phosphate) and services
  • Very few population in Jordan and purchasing capacity is less
  • Cooperation and training in higher education is thriving well between India & Jordan
  • Jordan is facing the issues of
    • refugees from Syria
    • spill over effects from Arab Spring, Israel-Palestine conflict
    • political reforms
    • Inflation


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