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India Watch

Issue No. 78
July 2016

By: Sunil Kumar
Jawaharlal Nehru University

POLITICAL ISSUES
IRAN
1. US has no complaints about India-Iran pact to develop Chabahar Port
Washington, Friday, 1 June 2016
A top US think-tank expert said that despite some concerns from a few Senators, the Obama administration has not expressed any objection to the recent signing of a pact by India and Iran to develop the Chabahar port.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

2. ED, IT to probe multi-crore scam in export of Basmati rice to Iran
New Delhi, Monday, 13 June 2016
Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax department would probe over Rs 1,000-crore scam in export of high-quality Basmati rice to Iran which was fraudulently diverted mid-sea to Dubai.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

ISRAEL
3. Modi may visit Israel to mark diplomatic anniversary milestone
Hyderabad, Tuesday, 7 June 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi may visit Israel early next year as both countries prepare to celebrate 25th anniversary of establishment of full diplomatic relations, an Israeli official stated.
Source: The New Indian Express, Chennai

4. India’s ties with Iran irks Israel
New Delhi, Thursday, 16 June 2016
Israel’s Ambassador to India Daniel Carmon expressed concern over growing diplomatic ties between India and Iran and said, “Iran is encouraging terrorism, including in this city (New Delhi). Iran is encouraging instability in our region. But we will not tell our friends how to conduct their foreign policy.”
Source: The Business Line, Chennai

IRAQ
5. Indians missing in Iraq: One man returned with ‘news,’ got Government red carpet, now he is in jail
New Delhi, Wednesday, 15 June 2016
It has been two years since the disappearance of 39 Indians in Iraq. While the government has intervened for workers caught in the conflict zone, it has not been able to give any concrete answer about these 39 Indians.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

KUWAIT
6. Indian Embassy in Kuwait issues advisory against fraudsters
Dubai, Thursday, 9 June 2016
The Indian Embassy issued advisory asking members of the Indian community in Kuwait not to fall prey to calls of fraudsters, who claim to be Indian embassy officials.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi; See Also: Business Standard, New Delhi

OMAN
7. India, Oman discuss ways to strengthen bilateral ties
New Delhi, Friday, 3 June 2016
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with her Omani counterpart Yusuf Bin Alawi Bin Abdullah. They discussed ways to further consolidate the strong bilateral relations and enhance project exports from India.
Source: The Hindu Business, Chennai

8. Oman Air plans to increase flight services to India
New Delhi, Sunday, 26 June 2016
Oman's flag carrier Oman Air plans to increase its services in India to 175 flights per week by 2018.
Source: Business Standard, New Delhi; See Also: The Indian Express, New Delhi; The Hindu, Chennai; The Times of India, New Delhi

QATAR
9. PM Modi arrives in Qatar, economic cooperation high on agenda
Doha, Sunday, 5 June 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Doha for a two-day visit and would hold detailed talks with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on a range of bilateral issues as well as regional and international matters of mutual concern.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi; See Also: DNA India, Mumbai

10. India, Qatar to share intelligence to combat hawala, terror financing
Doha, Monday, 6 June 2016
India and Qatar agreed to share intelligence to combat ‘hawala’ transactions and terror financing and signed seven agreements. Both the countries decided to move beyond the trading relationship and get into strategic investments.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi; See Also: The Hindu, Chennai

11. India a land of opportunities, Modi tells Qatar’s businessmen
New Delhi, Monday, 6 June 2016
Prime Minister Modi held a closed-door meeting with Qatari business leaders and explained various steps taken by his government to facilitate the ease of doing business in India.
Source: The New Indian Express, Chennai; See Also: The New Indian Express, Chennai; The Hindu, Chennai

12. Qatar releases 23 Indian prisoners
Doha, Tuesday, 7 June 2016
In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi said, “A special gesture to mark the start of a special month. The Government of Qatar releases 23 prisoners, who will return home to India.”
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

SAUDI ARABIA
13. Mega refinery: India says ready to offer stake to Saudi Arabia
Mumbai, Monday, 6 June 2016
India expressed that it has offered Saudi Arabia a stake in the mega oil refinery and petrochemicals project proposed in coastal Maharashtra at an estimated cost of Rs 1.5 trillion.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

14. Cabinet approves pact with Saudi Arabia on labour cooperation
New Delhi, Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Union Cabinet approved agreement between India and Saudi Arabia on Labour Cooperation for the recruitment of the general category of workers.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

UAE
15. ED initiates letters rogatory for information from UAE on Winsome dealings
Mumbai, Thursday, 16 June 2016
Enforcement Directorate has initiated letters rogatory to obtain information from authorities in the UAE on dealings related to Winsome Group which is India’s second-largest wilful defaulter after Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines.
Source: The Economics Times, New Delhi

16. India, UAE to set up parliamentary panel to enhance ties
Dubai, Sunday, 19 June 2016
India and the UAE would set up a joint panel of parliamentarians to boost up bilateral strategic relations and facilitate their visits to promote cooperation to tackle security issues and challenges facing the region.
Source: The Economics Times, New Delhi; See Also: The New Indian Express, Chennai; Business Line, Chennai

ECONOMIC ISSUES
IRAN
17. India to export USD 150 million rails for Chabahar port next month
New Delhi, Thursday, 16 June 2016
Indian steel companies would be exporting rails worth US$150 million to Iran for developing railway and other infrastructure at strategically important Chabahar port.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi; See also:

QATAR
18. India, Qatar ink 7 agreements to boost cooperation
Doha, Sunday, 5 June 2016
India and Qatar signed seven agreements which include an agreement on finance intelligence to check money laundering and terrorism financing and another agreement to woo foreign investment in the infrastructure sector of India.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi; See Also: The Hindu, 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