HEADLINES:
Possible sale of Boeing C-17 aircraft to India approved – Pentagon। President Trump tweets: Look forward to welcoming to India’s PM Modi to White House on Monday. Important strategic issues to discuss with a true friend! । Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for three-nation tour to Portugal, US and the Netherlands June 24 । India, Portugal sign MoUs in areas of Space, and Collaborative Research । Agreements signed during PM Modi’s first leg visit of the three-nation tour । US clears sale of 22 General Atomics Sea Guardian drones for Indian Navy । Deal likely to be announced during PM Modi’s visit to Washington June 26 । These unmanned, or Remotely Piloted, Aircraft will be used for ISR Missions in Indian Ocean । The G-to-G deal, under the US FMS program, should be around $2 Billion । India launches Cartosat-2 along with 30 other satellites June 23 । PSLV-C38, the 40th flight of PSLV, carrying 31 satellites took off from first launch pad of SDSC Sriharikota । President Mukherjee, PM Modi and the Defence Minister congratulated ISRO and its scientists for the successful launch । Lockheed Martin, Tata announce F16 India Partnership । Partnership aims to produce F16 Block 70 in India if selected by IAF । GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) orders 100 A320neo aircraft । Paris Air Show 2017 opens at Le Bourget, France June 19 । Chairman COSC and CNS Admiral Sunil Lanba on a visit to Isreal। India, Pakistan become full member of SCO। India’s entry into SCO was backed by Russia, and Pakistan’s membership by China। PM Modi calls on Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of SCO। He also thanked the Chinese President for supporting India’s entry into SCO। Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchange greetings with Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif in the Leader’s Lounge before the SCO concert in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan। It was the first time the two had met in nearly a year, during which period bilateral relations have deteriorated। PM Modi greeted his Pakistani counterpart and asked about PM Sharif’s health and about the health of his mother । Prime Minister Narendra Modi departs for 2-day visit to Astana, Kazakhstan to attend SCO Summit । India to be admitted as full member of SCO during the Summit । India signed Paris climate pact for its commitment towards protecting the environment, says EAM Sushma Swaraj । The EAM said this during MEA’s annual conference in New Delhi June 5 । It did not sign the pact of any greed or fear from any country: EAM । Ms Swaraj was rebutting US President Trump’s allegation saying India signed the deal to receive billions of foreign aid । India successfully launches communication satellite GSAT 19 June 5 । The heaviest ever rocket GSLV Mk III carrying GSAT 19 lifted off from SDSC (SHAR) Sriharikota । Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and UAE cut diplomatic ties to Qatar । The 4 Gulf nations took the step following Qatar’s relations with Iran and support of Islamist groups। They also cut off its land, sea and air routes to the outside world । Libya, Yemen also joined the four Arab nations in snapping ties with Qatar । India, Russia sign pact for two nuclear power units at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu । INS Kalvari, the Indian Navy’s first Scorpene class submarine, will be battle ready from Day One, French collaborator DCNS announced June 1 । Kalvari, meaning shark, will be commissioned in July । Kalvari is the first of the six modern submarines ordered by the Indian Navy । Indian Navy is looking at 200 ships and 400 aircraft, all with hitech systems । Vice Adm Karambir Singh also told a seminar on Future Indian Navy that poor quality systems are not acceptable । Indian shipyards are building 40 ships at present । PM Modi reaches St. Petersburg in the 3rd leg of his 4-nation visit । He is to participate in 18th India Russia Annual Summit and SPIEF 2017 । India, Spain sign 7 agreements including one each on Cyber Security and Civil Aviation । Naval Chief Adm Sunil Lanba calls for cutting edge technologies with a Made in India stamp । Addressing a seminar on Building India’s Future Navy, he said ToT from foreign vendors would be say now with Strategic Partnership model । Adm Lanba said selection process for shipboard fighter is moving at desired pace and they should be inducted in about 5 years । About 80 killed, several injured in a bomb blast near Indian embassy in Kabul । Indian embassy staff were safe: MEA । PM reached Madrid on the second leg of his tour for a day- long visit to Spain May 31 । India, Germany sign 11 MoUs including one on Cyber Security । MoUs signed during Prime Minister Modi’s 2-day Germany visit on May 29-30 । We are made for each-other, says PM Modi on India-Germany ties । The Prime Minister is on 4-nation tour of Germany, Spain, Russia and France from May 29-June 3 । India’s distinguished police officer, Mr KPS Gill passed away at 82 । Hassan Rouhani re-elected Iranian President । Prime Minister Modi congratulated him on his re-election । India, Palestine sign 5 MoUs including one on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holder । Agreements were signed after Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with President Abbas May 16 । Palestine President Mahmoud Abbas is on 4-day State visit to India beginning May 14 । Abbas is visiting India on the invitation of President Pranab Mukherjee । This is the fifth visit and the third State visit of President Abbas to India । Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Colombo May 11 on his two-day visit to Sri Lanka । He was received by his Sri Lankan counterpart Ranil Wickramsinghe on his arrival at the Colombo airport । PM Modi is the chief guest at the International Vesak Day celebrations of Sri Lanka । India marks 19th National Technology Day । National Technology Day is marked to commemorate the anniversary of Pokhran nuclear tests of 1998 । On this day, Prime Minister Modi hails the then PM Vajpayee’s courage to conduct the nuclear tests । India launches GSAT-9 satetllite from Sriharikota । India to make Israeli rifles and small arms । Punj Lloyd and Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) collaborating in the venture । Trump to visit Israel and Saudi Arabia this month । This will be his first foreign visit as US President । India, Turkey signed three agreements including one between the Foreign Services Institute of India and the Diplomacy Academy of Turkey । Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls on President Mukherjee, Vice President Ansari, PM Modi and EAM Sushma Swaraj during his State visit to India । The Turkish President, visiting from April 30-May 1, backs India in fight against terrorism । Turkey conveyed its support for India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) । PM Modi expressed his gratitude on Turkey’s support । Indian Army celebrates 79th Armour Day । On 1 May 1938, Scinde Horse cavalry regiment was equipped with Vickers tanks and Chevrolet armoire cars । The Indian Army’s Armourerd Corps has played decisive role against Pakistani intruders in 1947, 1965 and 1971। India, Cyprus sign 4 agreements including one on Air Service Agreement । Agreements signed during Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’s visit to India April 28 । Cyprus President called on President Mukherjee, Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi । The visiting President and PM Modi agreed on urgent need for all countries to decisively act against the states supporting factories of terrorism । PM Modi also thanked the Cyprus President for his support to India’s claim of Permanent Membership in UNSC । North Korea test fires a ballistic missile which landed in the Sea of Japan । India, Sri Lanka ink pacts on economic cooperation and road infrastructure development । The agreements signed during Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India । Prime Minister Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on him । Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar accompanied Sushma Swaraj when the latter called on the visiting Sri Lankan PM । India-Russia defence engagement will continue to grow, says Defence Minister Arun Jaitley । He was speaking at the 6th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow । India, Russia are celebrating 70 years of Diplomatic Relationship । China launches its first indigenous aircraft carrier । The new carrier will accommodate 36 aircraft and will be commissioned in 2020 after sea trials । It’s a 50000 ton platform with a ski jump deck modeled on Soviet carriers but has many design innovations । India, South Korea Sign Inter-Governmental MoU for Defence Industry Co-Operation in Shipbuilding । The MoU signed by Secretary (Defence Production), India, Ashok Kumar Gupta and Minister of Defence Acquisition and Programme Administration (DAPA), South Korea, Chang Myoung-Jin । The Inter-Governmental MoU was conceived under the overall umbrella of the ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ between both countries । The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) accorded its approval for signing the MoU । The CCS also gave a go ahead for nominating Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam for collaboration । Indian Navy successfully test-fires land attack version of Brahmos supersonic cruise missile । Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari calls on President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Home Minister and Defence Minister in New Delhi Apr 18 । Nepalese President is on a State visit to India April 17-21 । This is her first ever visit to India since taking over in 2015 । She was given a ceremonial Guard of Honour on her arrival at Rashtrapati Bhawan । Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Singh Sajjan, called on Defence Minister Arun Jaitley Tuesday । He was presented a Tri-Services Guard of Honour on his arrival at South Block । 12 killed in Saudi military helicopter in Yemen । Unconfined reports say the Blackhawk was accidentally shot down by a Saudi Patriot missile। US NSA Gen HR McMaster meets Prime Minister Modi in New Delhi । Gen McMaster also exchanged views on Indo-US relations with Indian counterpart Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar । Happy Easter । US drops its biggest 21,000 pound bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan April 13 । Designated GBU 43, the Mother of All Bombs is designed to hit deep caves and tunnels in hardy mountains । GBU 43 is the biggest non-nuclear bomb, carried by the US Air Force (USAF) and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) । White House Press Secretyary Sean Spricer confirmed the night bombing but there was no immediate word from Taliban । Spicer said the ISIS terroists were targeted as they used the caves and tunnels to hit the US forces । GBU 43 is a concussion bomb carrying an explosive charge of 8,500 kg, equal to 11 tons of TNT । India, Australia sign 6 MoUs including on Combating Terrorism and Civil Aviation Security । Agreements signed during Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull’s Visit to India April 10 । He calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । This is the first ever visit of Turnbull after taking over as Australian PM in 2015 । The Australian PM along with his Indian counterpart took a Delhi metro ride to visit city-based Akshardham Temple । India, Bangladesh signed 22 agreements April 8 including key pacts on defence cooperation and civil nuclear cooperation । India announced an additional $4.5-billion concessional line of credit for infrastructure projects in Bangladesh, and another $500 million for Dhaka to procure defence equipment from New Delhi । A joint India-Bangladesh event saw both PMs honour the 1,661 Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the 1971 war for Bangladesh’s independence । Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrives in New Delhi for 4-day State visit to India । Prime Minister Modi himself goes to the airport to greet the Bangladesh PM on her arrival । External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj calls on Sheikh Hasina at Rashtrapati Bhawan । She is the special guest of President Pranab Mukherjee during her State visit to India । The Bangladesh PM has a full day of bilateral discussions with her Indian counterpart on Saturday (April 8) । 20 agreements are expected to be signed between India and Bangladesh । India, Malaysia sign 7 agreements । The agreements signed during Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s visit to India from March 30 to April 4 । Malaysian PM calls on President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi । India and Malaysia joint statement, issued after Modi, Razak meeting, calls for a deeper ties between the two nations ।
June 28, 2017
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Prime Minister woos Europe for NSG push and economic engagement

By Nilova Roy Chaudhury May 2017
 

New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi left for Berlin on Monday, May 29 at the start of a six-day tour of four major European countries; Germany, Spain, Russia and France.

All four countries are members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), the elite group of countries who control all global commerce in the nuclear industry. India, which has a waiver allowing it to engage in nuclear commerce since 2008, after it concluded the India-US civil nuclear cooperation agreement, is keen to join the NSG as a full-time member. While most of the 48 NSG member countries are amenable to India’s request for membership, China has been firm in opposing India’s entry into the group.

Modi-4nation

While each of the four visits is a bilateral one, the Prime Minister will make a strong personal pitch to move India’s NSG application forward, urging the four countries to push New Delhi’s case, particularly using their good offices with Beijing.

Also on the PM’s agenda will be discussions on cooperation on the economic, defence, science and technology, and nuclear fronts, and the fight against terror. He will also attempt to hasten the pace of talks on the European Union — India Free Trade Agreement with Germany, Spain and France, three leading members of the EU.

Mr Modi is visiting Germany primarily for the biannual Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC); Spain for the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in nearly 30 years; Russia for the annual bilateral summit; and France for his first meeting with newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.

Heightened counter-terrorism cooperation is also high on the agenda of talks in all four countries, officials told India Strategic. It is part of India’s “persistent efforts to place pressure on Pakistan” for spreading terrorism in South Asia.

The visit to the four countries, two of which (Russia and France) are permanent members of the UN Security Council and one (Germany) is a major partner and investor in India, is also intended to seek investments for the Indian economy, particularly in the crucial infrastructure and defence manufacturing sectors.

The visits, Mr Modi tweeted, are aimed at “boosting economic engagement” with the countries and “seeking investment” for the Indian economy.

Giving details of his itinerary in Germany, the Prime Minister in his departure statement said, “I will visit Germany on 29-30 May 2017 on the invitation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the Fourth India-Germany Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC).”

“India and Germany are large democracies, major economies and important players in regional and global affairs. Our strategic partnership is based on democratic values and commitment to an open, inclusive and rules-based global order. Germany is a valuable partner in our development initiatives and German competencies fit well with my vision for India’s transformation.

I would begin my visit from Meseberg near Berlin in Germany, where Chancellor Merkel has very graciously invited me to hold discussions on issues of regional and global importance,” Mr Modi said.

The dinner at the official country retreat of the German Chancellor, the Schloss-Meseberg, is a special gesture to signify the importance of the bilateral relationship. It will give the leaders a chance to iron out some of the creases both perceive in the partnership.

“On 30 May, Chancellor Merkel and I will hold the 4th IGC to review the state of our bilateral relationship. We will also chart out a future roadmap of cooperation with focus on trade and investment, security and counter-terrorism, innovation and science & technology, skill development, urban infrastructure, railways and civil aviation, clean energy, development cooperation, health and alternative medicine.

Germany is our leading partner in trade, technology and investment. In Berlin, Chancellor Merkel and I will interact with top business leaders of both the countries to further strengthen our trade and investment ties.
I am confident that this visit will open a new chapter in our bilateral cooperation with Germany and further deepen our Strategic Partnership,” Mr Modi said in his statement.

The first official visit by an Indian PM to Spain will begin Tuesday evening.

“I will pay an official visit to Spain from 30 – 31 May 2017. This will be the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to Spain in almost three decades.

I look forward to my meeting with President Mariano Rajoy on 31 May. We will discuss ways to enhance bilateral engagement, especially in the economic sphere, and cooperation on international issues of common concern, particularly in combating terrorism.

There is significant potential for deepening bilateral trade and investment ties. We seek active participation of Spanish industry in various Indian projects including infrastructure, smart cities, digital economy, renewable energy, defence and tourism.

I will also meet top CEOs of Spanish industry and encourage them to partner with us in our ‘Make in India’ Initiative.

The first meeting of the India-Spain CEOs Forum will be held on the sidelines of my visit. I look forward to their valuable recommendations for strengthening India-Spain economic partnership,” Mr Modi said.

A significant aspect of the collaboration with Spain in infrastructure is focus on the railways.

Mr Modi is travelling to Saint Petersburg for the annual India – Russia summit, at which many of the glitches in the bilateral relationship, including on major defence deals, will be addressed.

Russia has not chosen a new envoy to replace Ambassador Alexander M Kadakin, the legendary Indophile, who died in New Delhi on India’s Republic Day. Several of the bilateral defence deals, including for joint production of 200 Kamov Ka-226T twin-engine helicopters, are facing inordinate delays, while India mulls over aspects of the defence relationship with Russia.

As India and Russia celebrate the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties, New Delhi is not happy with the increasing bonhomie between Moscow and Beijing, the most recent example of which was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s presence at the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) pushing China’s ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative in Beijing May 14, 15. India did not attend the BRF because of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which traverses parts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which India claims is its territory.

Russia also appears to be inching closer to Pakistan at China’s behest, holding the first ever joint military exercises with that country last year.

Speaking about his visit, Mr Modi said, “I will be visiting St. Petersburg, Russia from 31st May to 2nd June for the 18th India-Russia Annual Summit.

On 1st June, I will be conducting detailed discussions with President Putin to take forward our dialogue from the last Summit in Goa in October 2016. With a spotlight on economic ties, both President Putin and I will also be interacting with CEOs from both countries.

On the next day, I will be addressing the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) together with President Putin. I appreciate the invitation to be the Guest of Honour at this year’s Forum. India is the Guest Country at the SPIEF this year.

In a first meeting of its kind, I will also have the opportunity to engage with Governors from various Russian regions to further broad base bilateral cooperation and more actively involve States/Regions and other diversified stakeholders.

At the beginning of my visit, I will go to Piskarovskoye Cemetery to pay homage to those who perished during the siege of Leningrad. I will also have occasion to visit the world famous State Hermitage Museum and the Institute of Oriental manuscripts.

I greatly look forward to my visit to St. Petersburg in this special year for the bilateral relationship as both countries celebrate the 70th Anniversary of our diplomatic relations,” the Prime Minister said.

The final leg of the tour, added on to the tour itinerary after President Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential elections, is a visit to Paris.

“I will be visiting France from 2-3 June, 2017. During the visit, I will have an official meeting with the newly elected French President H.E. Mr. Emmanuel Macron on 3 June. France is one of our most important Strategic Partners. I look forward to meeting President Macron and have discussions on issues of mutual interest. I would be exchanging views with the French President on important global issues including UN Security Council reforms and India’s permanent membership of the UN Security Council, India’s membership of the various multilateral export control regimes, counter-terrorism cooperation, collaboration on climate change and International Solar Alliance.

France is our 9th largest investment partner and a key partner in our development initiatives in the area of defence, space, nuclear and renewable energy, urban development and railways. I am committed to substantially strengthening and advancing our multi-faceted partnership with France,” Mr Modi stated.

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