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India Watch

Issue No. 85
February 2017

By: Sunil Kumar
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

POLITICAL ISSUES
BAHRAIN
1. India intervenes after Bahrain Company fails to pay salaries to Indian workers
New Delhi, Monday, 16 January 2017
India has taken up with Bahrain at a high level the issue of non-payment of salary to Indian workers and one of whom died during a protest against the employer.
Source: Hindustan Times, New Delhi

2. Indian workers die in Bahrain during protest
New Delhi, Monday, 16 January 2017
Bahrain and India held urgent consultations after a larger protest by Indian workers in Manama which turned violent, leaving one worker dead and an unknown number injured.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

3. India business partnership summit to take place in Bahrain
Dubai, Tuesday, 31 January 2017
The first Indian Business Partnership Summit would be held in Bahrain further cement bilateral trade and economic ties. The summit, organized by India's PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry would be in association with Hilal Conferences and Exhibitions (HCE) and would take place on February 7 on the sidelines of the Gulf Industry Fair at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre.
Source: The New Indian Express, Chennai

ISRAEL
4. In a first, India to attend international conference on Israel and Palestine
New Delhi, Wednesday, 4 January 2017
India is set to attend for the first time an international conference that would seek to revive peace talks between Israel and Palestine, a development that comes a time when the Narendra Modi-led government is trying to expand its political presence in the Middle East as part of efforts to dispel its anti-Muslim image.
Source: The Economics Times, Mumbai

5. India, Israel to strengthen agricultural ties
New Delhi, Wednesday, 11 January 2017
India and Israel today expressed their commitment to strengthen bilateral relations in the field of agriculture and cooperation in allied sectors between the two countries. Israeli delegation-led by Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel called on farm minister Radha Mohan Singh and discussed bilateral cooperation in farm sector.
Source: The Business Standard, New Delhi

6. India can play role in mending Israel-Palestine ties: Alexandre Ziegler, French Ambassador
New Delhi, Saturday, 14 January 2017
India has been invited to a global meet of 72 nations on Israeli-Palestine issue to be hosted in Paris on January 15 to find a formula for a two-state solution. French Ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler said in an interview with The Economic Times.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

7. Indo-Israel ties did not start two and a half years ago, there has been a change in policy: Daniel Carmon
New Delhi, Sunday, 15 January 2017
Israel’s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon speaks about the change in India’s policy on Israel, what it means for his country to be India’s technological partner, how the two countries have been “suffering from terrorism” more than anyone else, and why he has no “diplomatic immunity” from demonetization.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

SAUDI ARABIA
8. No chicks or eggs: Saudi bans Indian poultry products on bird flu scare
Mumbai, Tuesday, 3 January 2017
Four weeks after the World Organization for Animal Health reported an avian influenza outbreak, Saudi Arabia has temporarily banned imports of poultry products from India.
Source: The Business Standard, New Delhi

9. Saudi Arabia increases India’s annual Hajj quota to 170,000
New Delhi, Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that Saudi Arabia has increased India’s annual Hajj quota from 136,000 to 170,000, biggest such expansion in last 29 years.
Source: The Business Standard, New Delhi

10. Indian Expo 2017 in Saudi Arabia to boost bilateral ties
Jeddah, Saturday, 28 January 2017
The first large scale Indian Trade Exhibition in Saudi Arabia, Indian Expo 2017, would take place in Jeddah during October 22-24 this year. The indoor and outdoor venues of the convention centre of Hotel Hilton would witness India's featured projects, products and services in the Kingdom.
Source: The Times of India, Mumbai

TURKEY
11. Bodies of two Indian killed in Turkey attack reach India
Mumbai, Wednesday, 4 January 2017
Bodies of film producer-realtor Abis Rizvi and fashion designer Khushi Shah, who were among 39 people killed in the Istanbul terror attack, reached India.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai; See also: The Indian Express, New Delhi

UAE
12. UAE envoy denied raids on Dawood properties
New Delhi, Tuesday, 17 January 2017
The Ambassador of the UAE dismissed the reports that there is information about raids on Dawood properties in the UAE.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

13. India, UAE to hold first strategic dialogue tomorrow
New Delhi, Thursday, 19 January 2017
Ahead of the visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who would be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade, both the countries would hold their first strategic dialogue on coming days and to discuss cooperation in key areas including energy, trade and security.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

14. India, UAE in a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’, sign 13 security, trade pacts
New Delhi, Wednesday, 25 January 2017
India and the UAE made a strong bid at consolidating their groing ties with a comprehensive strategic partnership and signed 13 pacts in key areas such as defence, security, trade and energy.
Source: Hindustan Times, Mumbai; See also: The New Indian Express, Chennai; The Hindu, Chennai

15. UAE crown prince to hold talks with PM Modi: 5 numbers that sum up ties between two nations
New Delhi, Wednesday, 25 January 2017
Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and the deputy supreme commander of the UAE forces would meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He would be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.
Source: Hindustan Times, Mumbai

16. India UAE to coordinate efforts to counter misuse of religion for inciting hatred
New Delhi, Thursday, 26 January 2017
In a veiled reference on Pakistan, India and the UAE condemned efforts by states to use religion to sponsor and sustain terrorism against other countries.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai; See also: The Indian Express, New Delhi

17. India-UAE agreements that show Abu Dhabi means serious business here
New Delhi, Thursday, 26 January 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted strategic significance of India-UAE relations for both countries. India is hosting Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as a special guest for the Republic Day celebrations.
Source: Financial Express, Noida

18. 68th Republic Day: UAE’s participation reflects deep-rooted Emirati-Indian relations, say Gulf media
New Delhi, Friday, 27 January 2017
With the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan attending the Republic Day celebrations, Gulf News, quoted the crown prince as saying that the gulf state’s participation reflected the “deep-rooted Emirati-Indian relations”.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

ECONOMIC ISSUES
IRAN
19. India to nudge Iran to resume Basmati imports
New Delhi, Monday, 2 January 2017
India is readying to send a delegation to Iran to protect its big basmati rice market in the face of an aggressive campaign by Pakistan to paint the Indian variety as inferior.
Source: The Economics Times, Mumbai

20. India’s 2016 Iran oil imports hit record high
New Delhi, Friday, 13 January 2017
According to ship tracking data and a report compiled by Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts, India’s annual oil imports from Iran surged to a record high in 2016 as some refiners resumed purchases after the lifting of sanctions against Tehran.
Source: The Economics Times, Mumbai

21. Bilateral trade hit by Banks’ reluctant to transact with Iran 
New Delhi, Saturday, 28 January 2017
India’s trade with Iran is yet to be fully normalized even a year after the lifting of international sanctions on Tehran. Indian exporters are complaining of difficulties faced by them due to some India nationalized banks refusing to deal with Iran related transactions.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

OMAN
22. Oman India fund raises $220 million for new offering
Mumbai, Saturday, 14 January 2017
The Oman India Joint Investment Fund has raised $220 million towards the first close (tranche) of its new fund of US$300 million. The anchor investors in the new fund are State General Reserve Fund of Oman and India's largest bank, State Bank of India.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

23. IAF chief Dhanoa reviews Indo-Oman air exercise in Jamnagar
Ahmadabad, Wednesday, 18 January 2017
Air Chief Marshal B S Dhanoa and Commander of Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) Matar Ali Matar Al-Obaidani reviewed the progress of the fourth joint exercise between the two countries
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

UAE
24. India hopes for US$75-bn infra fund from UAE
New Delhi, Wednesday, 25 January 2017
India and the UAE are expected to announce more than a dozen agreements as they spell out their strategic partnership including an MoU on the proposed US$75-bn UAE sovereign wealth fund investment in Indian infrastructure that has been hanging fire for 18 months.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai; See also: The New Indian Express, Chennai

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