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India Watch

Issue No. 77
June 2016

By: Sunil Kumar
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

POLITICAL ISSUES
IRAN
1. PM Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to Iran would focus on connectivity, trade and investment
Tehran, Sunday, 22 May 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said enhancing connectivity, trade, investment and energy partnership would be his priority during his maiden visit to Iran.
Source: The Economics Times, New Delhi; See also: The Indian Express, New Delhi

2. PM Modi in Iran: Trade, transit links on table, but Pak would be back of mind for both India, Iran
Tehran, Monday, 23 May 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Tehran for his first visit. India and Iran were preparing to sign about six agreements and discuss about trade and connectivity.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

3. India and Iran sign ‘historic’ Chabahar port deal
Tehran, Monday, 23 May 2016
After his talks with President Hassan Rouhani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that India would build and operate a key Iranian port and said that India would invest US$500m to develop the strategically important Chabahar port, close to Iran’s border with Pakistan.
Source: BBC News, London

4. India, Iran vow to fight terrorism, share intelligence
Tehran, Monday, 23 May 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised to jointly combat terrorism and extremism. Both leaders agreed to share intelligence in a bid to fight the menace that is "rife and rampant" in the region.
Source: The Economics Times, New Delhi; The Economic Times, New Delhi

5. India to develop Iran’s Chabahar port
New Delhi, Tuesday, 24 May 2016
India signed series of agreements that would allow New Delhi to use the Chabahar port to access Central Asia and Afghanistan.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

IRAQ
6.  Iraq overtakes Saudi Arabia as biggest oil exporter to India in April: Data
New Delhi, Thursday, 12 May 2016
Iraq overtook Saudi Arabia as the top crude exporter to India in April for the first time since December, according to data compiled by Reuters.
Source: The Economics Times, New Delhi

ISRAEL
7. After West Asia, PM sets his sights on Israel
Jerusalem, Sunday, 29 May 2016
Israel and Palestinian officials are expecting that Prime Minister Modi to visit Israel early next year.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai; See also: The New Indian Express, Chennai

KUWAIT
8.  Around 1700 Indian workers arrested or deported from Kuwait: Government
New Delhi, Thursday, 5 May 2016
India said that about 1700 Indian workers who were arrested and deported by Kuwaiti authorities were found violating visa or residency laws of that country.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

9. Indians in Kuwait advised to comply with residency, visa laws
Dubai, Monday, 9 May 2016
India has advised its nationals residing in Kuwait to comply with local residency and visa laws as a number of expatriates have been arrested for overstaying and other violations.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

OMAN
10. Parrikar to visit to Oman, UAE next week
New Delhi, Saturday, 14 May 2016
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar would leave for Oman and the UAE on 18 May for a five-day tour with the aim of enhancing security and defence cooperation with the region.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

11. India, Oman sign four key defence pacts
New Delhi, Monday, 23 May 2016
India and Oman signed four key agreements to enhance military cooperation. The agreements were on defence cooperation, marine crime prevention, maritime issues and flight safety information exchange.
Source: The New Indian Express, Chennai; See also: The Indian Express, New Delhi; The Hindu, Chennai; The Times of India, New Delhi

QATAR
12. India plans investment treaty with Qatar during PM Narendra Modi ’s visit
New Delhi, Thursday, 19 May 2016
India is planning to put in place an investment treaty with Qatar, in order to source much-needed funds for its infrastructure sector during Prime Minister Narendra Modi Doha trip.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

13. PM Modi to visit Qatar in June
New Delhi, Friday, 20 May 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi would pay a two-day visit to Qatar from 4 June, in continuation of his efforts to recast India’s ties with the strategically important Gulf region.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi; See also: The Economic Times, New Delhi

14.  Mission Qatar: Pact on sharing information on terror financing
New Delhi, Tuesday, 31 May 2016
The two countries hope to conclude a pact on 'information sharing on terror financing' during PM Modi’s visit to Doha.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

UAE
15. ED seeks info about UAE firms’ alleged links to Michel
New Delhi, Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Several UAE-based companies have come under the scanner of Indian investigating agencies for their suspected links with alleged AgustaWestland middleman and fugitive Christian Michel.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

16. Parrikar’s UAE visit to focus on widening defence relationship, supply of military equipment
New Delhi, Monday, 16 May 2016
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to the UAE from 18-20 May would focus on widening the engagements on defence and security issues.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

ECONOMIC ISSUES
BAHRAIN
17. Bahrain-India trade and economic ties burgeon
Manama, Tuesday, 24 May 2016
India-Bahrain bilateral trade from April 2015 to March 2016 period surpassed one billion US dollars.
Source: DT News, Bahrain

18. India keen on more investments from Bahrain
New Delhi, Thursday, 26 May 2016
Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met visiting Bahraini Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed R. Alzayani. She discussed the high investment opportunities in India and requested Bahrain to enhance its investments.
Source: The Business Standard, New Delhi; See also: The Financial Express, New Delhi

IRAN
19.  India seeks rights to operate Iran oil field
Tehran, Tuesday, 24 May 2016
India has sought to explore a recently discovered oilfield from Iran to raise crude oil imports from the Persian Gulf nation.
Source: The Economics Times, New Delhi

ISRAEL
20.  Israel’s leading hotel chain, Dan Hotels to venture into India
Tel Aviv, Wednesday, 18 May 2016
One of Israel’s oldest and prestigious hotel chains Dan Hotels is set to venture into India with its first overseas facility coming up in Bengaluru.
Source: The Economics Times, New Delhi

21.  India chasing free trade agreements with Israel, Gulf & Eurasia
New Delhi, Sunday, 29 May 2016
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that India is eyeing trade deals with Israel and other countries to deepen its trading engagement and revive exports.
Source: The Economics Times, New Delhi

KUWAIT
22.  Kuwait imposes ban on imports of poultry products from India
New Delhi, Monday, 9 May 2016
Kuwait has imposed a ban on imports of poultry products from India in the wake of bird flu outbreak in Tripura.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

OMAN
23.  Oman eyes 15-20 percent rise in tourist arrivals from India in 2016
Mumbai, Tuesday, 31 May 2016
Oman, which hosted nearly 300,000 Indian travellers in 2015, is expecting 15-20 percent rise in footfalls this year, mainly backed by the wedding destination, and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) segment.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

QATAR
24.  India re-negotiates gas price with Qatar to below US$5/unit
New Delhi, Tuesday, 3 May 2016
India has re-negotiated favourably its LNG agreement with Qatar to bring down the cost of importing natural gas to less than US$5 per unit from US$12.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

25.  Petronet LNG gains as cost of gas imports from Qatar declines twofold
New Delhi, Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Shares of Petronet LNG BSE 0.36 percent ended with gains of 2.59 percent after India signed a revised agreement with Qatar to reduce the cost of gas import.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

UAE
26.  UAE tightens norms for import of veggies from India
New Delhi, Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Amid quality concerns, the UAE has tightened norms for import of chilli peppers, mango and cucumber from India from May onwards.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

COMPILED BY SUNIL KUMAR

Sunil Kumar is a doctoral candidate in School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.  Email

As part of its editorial policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spelling and date formats to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy