India’s NATO Engagement

  • IASbaba
  • August 15, 2022
  • 0
International Relations
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In News: New Delhi held its first political dialogue with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Brussels on December 12, 2019.

  • The Indian delegation attempted to assess cooperation on regional and global issues of mutual interest.

What is the significance of India’s talks with NATO?

  • India’s talks with NATO hold significance given that the North Atlantic alliance has been engaging both China and Pakistan in bilateral dialogue.
  • Given the role of Beijing and Islamabad in New Delhi’s strategic imperatives, reaching out to NATO would add a key dimension to India’s growing engagement with US and Europe.
  • Until December 2019, NATO had held nine rounds of talks with Beijing.
  • NATO had also been in political dialogue and military cooperation with Pakistan; it opened selective training for Pakistani officers and its military delegation visited Pakistan in November 2019 for military staff talks.
  • The first round of dialogue was finalised for December 12, 2019 by the Indian mission in Brussels after it received a draft agenda for the meeting from NATO.
  • Engaging with NATO in a political dialogue would provide New Delhi an opportunity to bring about a balance in NATO’s perceptions about the situation in regions and issues of concerns to India.

Was there any common ground?

  • In New Delhi’s assessment, there was a convergence in the perspectives of both India and NATO on China, terrorism, and Afghanistan, including Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan.

The first dialogue, it is learnt, revealed three critical issues on which India expected only limited common ground with NATO:

  1. From NATO’s perspective, it was not China, but Russia whose aggressive actions continued to be the main threat to Euro-Atlantic security, and that NATO had faced difficulties to convene meetings of NATO-Russia Council due to Russian refusal to place issues such as Ukraine and Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty on the agenda.
  2. Given the divergence among NATO countries, its view on China was seen as mixed; while it did deliberate on China’s rise, the conclusion was that China presented both a challenge and an opportunity.
  3. In Afghanistan, NATO saw the Taliban as a political entity, which was not in line with India’s stance.

However, the Indian side felt maritime security was a principal area of conversation in the future, given a substantial common ground with NATO.

What are the next steps?

  • On its part, the NATO delegation have expressed keenness to continue engagement with India on a mutually agreed agenda.
  • In NATO’s view, India, given its geo-strategic position and unique perspectives on various issues, was relevant to international security and could be an important partner in informing the alliance about India’s own region and beyond.
  • As far as India is concerned, it was felt New Delhi may consider proposals emanating from NATO, if any, on bilateral cooperation in areas of
  • interest to India, based on the progress achieved in the initial rounds.

Must Read: NATO

Source: Indian Express


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