IAF already has an order for 22 Apache Attack Helicopters with Boeing । Apaches for the Army are to have the same configuration । There will no more field and firing trials । Army has projected a requirement of 39 helicopters । MoD sanctions combat helicopters for the Army for the first time । Six Apache AH 64E to be given to the Indian Army as a beginning । India Marks 70th Anniversary of Independence Day August 15 । India Strategic Congratulates All Indians Everywhere । HAL Successfully Installs Israeli AESA Radar on a Jaguar aircraft । IAF Bases at Pathankot and Jorhat Upgrading Infrastructure to Receive Boeing Apache Attack Helicopters in 2018 । Dinesh Keskar, Boeing Sr VP Sales for India and Asia Pacific for Civil Aviation, says the region will account for 40% of aircraft sales । China will be the biggest market and India after that । India remembers its heroic martyrs on Kargil Vijay Diwas July 26 । Ram Nath Kovind sworn-in as 14th President and Supreme Commander of the Indian Armed Forces । Iraq Foreign Minister Dr Ibrahim al-Jaafari visits India July 24-28 । He called on Vice President Hamid Ansari, EAM Sushma Swaraj and discussed host of bilateral issues । Indian NSA Ajit Doval visits China to take part in BRICS NSA meet । Indian NSA’s visit comes amid India-China Dokalam stand-off । G20 should collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support and sponsors: PM Modi at Informal BRICS leaders meeting in Hamburg, Germany । He appreciated momentum in BRICS under the Chairmanship of President Xi and extended full cooperation and best wishes for the BRICS Xiamen Summit in Sep, 2017 । President Xi appreciated India’s strong resolve against terrorism । The Chinese President also appreciated India’s success in economic and social development and wished India even bigger success । US lifts personal electronics ban on Emirates, Etihad and Qatar airlines । Passengers on these three carriers can now carry their laptops and tablets along with them for flights to all destinations in the US । India, Israel sign 7 agreements including on space technology, agriculture and water conservation । Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Tel Aviv for his 3-day visit to Israel from July 4-6 । The visit, termed as ‘historic,’ is the first ever by an Indian PM to Israel । Israeli PM Netanyahu breaks protocol to receive PM Modi at the airport and accompany him on his engagements । PM Modi visits Holocaust Memorial Museum at Yad Vashem । PM Modi’s visit comes at a time when the two nations are celebrating the establishment of 25 years of their diplomatic relations । Happy 4th of July to all our friends in the U.S । India launches communication satellite GSAT-17 June 29 । GSAT-17 was launched using European Ariane 5 launch vehicle from Kourou, French Guiana । Government gives ‘in principle’ approval for disinvestment of Air India, 5 of its subsidiaries । Prime Minister Modi-headed CCEA gave its approval to fourth tranche recommendations of NITI Aayog on strategic disinvestment of CPSE June 28 । Possible sale of one more Boeing C-17 aircraft to India approved – Pentagon।brating 70 years of Diplomatic Relationship ।
August 20, 2017
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PM’s European visit firms up ties with major EU partners

By Nilova Roy Chaudhury June 2017


New Delhi. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to three key European Union (EU) members, from May 29 through June 4, rekindled Indian efforts to firm up its ties with the 27-nation EU, which is India’s largest trade partner. He was successful in getting a date set for the long-stalled India – EU summit that, sources said, would be held later this year.

High on the PM’s agenda were discussions on cooperation on the economic, defence, science and technology, and nuclear fronts, and the fight against terror. He also pushed for early conclusion of the European Union — India Free Trade Agreement with Germany, Spain and France, three leading members of the EU.

The Prime Minister’s visit to Germany, Spain and France coincided with US President Donald Trump withdrawing USA from the Paris Accord on climate change, while partially blaming India for his decision.

Mr Trump’s assumption of the US Presidency in January this year, followed by some of his actions and statements, like cutting visas for skilled immigrants and his first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia combined with severe criticism of Iran, leading to an Arab boycott of Qatar, has sent several worrying signals to India.

New Delhi’s relations with Beijing have also not been cordial recently, particularly with China’s strong emphasis on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) (also known as the ‘One Belt One Road’) to “revive” the old silk route, which India opposes as it infringes on Indian sovereignty. A key part of the BRI is the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, an area India claims as its own territory.

As relations with both Beijing and Washington pose uncertainties, New Delhi moved to shore up its ties with key EU members, Germany and France and Spain. With China continuing to remain intransigent on India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Mr Modi’s visit to these three countries, and “time-tested” friend Russia, all of whom are NSG members, melded well with the EU’s own efforts to look to Asia for closer linkages, particularly given Mr Trump’s pronouncements chiding Berlin and other EU capitals.

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. The Prime Minister made 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.

Mr Modi travelled to Berlin on May 29 for the fourth Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations (IGIC) on May 29 and 30. Germany is the only country with which India shares this “comprehensive format of consultation”, said Martin Ney, Germany’s Ambassador to India.

“Germany is a key partner for India, as our strengths lie exactly in the core areas, in which the Indian Government wants to achieve major development progress: Business, investments, technology, infrastructure, vocational education, science and renewable energy,” said Ambassador Ney.

Mr Modi’s visit to Berlin also demonstrated that the strong bilateral relations between the two countries have potential for further progress, since both Germany and India have a joint interest in strengthening the rules-based international order with obvious synergies on the bilateral level.

Responding to a question in Berlin, Mr Modi said Germany and India are “made for each other.” He explained the huge synergy that exists between German capabilities and Indian requirements while speaking of India’s pursuit of excellence in areas such as engineering, infrastructure and skill development. Describing the values of innovation and democracy, as a blessing for mankind, he said India and Germany share these values.

After intensive interaction, including at a private dinner hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, between the Indian Prime Minister and the German Chancellor, both countries signed 12 agreements. A comprehensive joint statement was also issued, covering various aspects of the negotiations.


The agreements focused on bilateral synergies in areas like skill development, combating cyber crime and renewable energy. Germany seeks to bolster the ‘Skill India’ programme with its extensive experience as a leader in vocational education. Germany is also the most important partner of India’s ambitious renewable energy programme. Heightened cooperation against terrorism and seeking German investment in Indian infrastructure projects were other key areas of focus.

The fourth IGIC laid out an “ambitious bilateral agenda forward to deepen our strategic and economic partnership,” a senior official told India Strategic.

In a joint statement after their talks, “Prime Minister Modi and Federal Chancellor Merkel underlined their common concern about the threat and global reach of terrorism and extremism. They agreed on the need to take strong measures against all those who encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary and safe havens that sustain and support terrorist groups and organizations. They welcomed closer collaboration between India and Germany to counter these challenges through regular meetings of the Joint Working Group on Counter Terrorism.”

In a subtle dig at China, the statement went on to say, “Both sides underlined the importance of freedom of navigation in international waters, the right of passage and other maritime rights and obligations in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and other principles of international law. Both Leaders attached particular importance to security, stability, connectivity and sustainable development of the blue economy in the Indian Ocean Region.”

They also agreed to step up their defence collaboration and “concurred on fostering security cooperation with the goal of promoting peace and strengthening stability and the capacity to meet the global and regional security challenges. Both countries agreed to pursue closer cooperation and strive to conclude negotiations in 2017 on a binding agreement concerning enhanced cooperation in the defence field including in defence industry cooperation,” the statement said.

Mr Modi’s visit to Spain, the first official visit by an Indian Prime Minister in over 25 years, saw him meet Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on 31 May. They held intensive discussions on ways to enhance bilateral engagement, especially in the economic sphere, and cooperate on international issues of common concern, particularly in combating terrorism.

The two leaders “welcomed the recent entry into force of the Agreement on Classified Information which, together with the Joint Memorandum of Cooperation in Defence of 2012 established the basis for strong defence cooperation between both countries,” a joint statement issued after their talks stated. Cooperation in science and technology, combating terrorism, defence cooperation and the railways formed the core of their discussions.

“Both leaders welcomed efforts to further cooperation between defence industries, including co-development and co-production agreements and technological cooperation. In particular in the advanced aerospace sector it will include the participation of the Spanish Defence Industry in the Make in India programme for the Indian defence market and third country exports. The two leaders called for early finalization of negotiations between the two Ministries of Defence on a Technical Agreement for Exchange of White Shipping Data,” the joint statement said.

“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,” Mr Modi said, as both he and Mr Rajoy met a group of businessmen at the India-Spain joint business forum.

After France elected its strongly pro-Europe candidate as President in May, Mr Modi visited Paris on June 3 for his first meeting with newly elected President Emmanuel Macron.

France is one of India’s most important Strategic Partners. It is India’s 9th largest investment partner and a key partner in development initiatives in areas 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.

“Heightened counter-terrorism cooperation is also high on the agenda of talks,” officials told India Strategic. It is part of India’s “persistent efforts to place pressure on Pakistan” for spreading terrorism in South Asia.
Both PM Modi and President Macron came out in strong support of the Paris Agreement on climate change after the US withdrawal, with the French President refusing to re-negotiate the agreement.

Mr Modi said, “Paris Agreement is a shared legacy of the world. It will benefit the future generations as well. Paris Agreement reflects our duty towards protecting the Earth and our natural resources. For us, this is an article of faith.”

To bolster their climate-friendly credentials, President Macron said he would visit India later this year to bolster the global Solar Alliance, jointly launched by the two countries.

Bilateral cooperation with India in the Indian Ocean is a priority of the strategic partnership. France, which is an Indian Ocean rim nation through its overseas territories including Reunion Island, considers India to be a vital partner for stability and security in the region. Both Modi and Macron stressed the importance of respecting international law and freedom of navigation.

The Prime Minister’s visits placed India back strongly on the European radar, results of which would soon be visible, sources told India Strategic.




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