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India Watch

Issue No. 80
September 2016

By: Sunil Kumar
Jawaharlal Nehru University

POLITICAL ISSUES
BAHRAIN
1. Odisha: Moved by plight of Dana Majhi, Bahraini PM donates money
Bhubaneswar, Monday, 29 August 2016
Bahrain Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa has extended financial help to the Kalahandi tribal Dana Majhi who carried his wife’s corpse under carpet, even, though the embarrassed Odisha government attempted to sweep the issue.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

EGYPT
2. India, Egypt agree to set up bilateral cooperation
Cairo, Wednesday, 24 August 2016
India and Egypt decided to put in place a bilateral framework for enhancing cooperation in key areas of security, counterterrorism, defence and investments.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

3. Egypt Looking For Indian Investment, Regional Security Cooperation
New Delhi, Monday, 22 August 2016
During External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Egypt early next week, the key issues that is likely to come up for discussion such as increasing bilateral investments, a greater role for India in regional security and stability and fighting terrorism etc.
Source: The New Indian Express, Chennai

IRAN
4. Iran foreign minister Javad Zarif meets PM Modi today
New Delhi, Sunday, 14 August 2016
Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss opportunities to strengthen ties between the two countries after the end of economic sanctions, and the focus of the conversation would be “strengthening connectivity” and “boosting oil trade.”
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

IRAQ
5. M J Akbar holds talks with Iraqi leadership, seeks rescue of 39 Indians
New Delhi, Monday, 22 August 2016
Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar held talks with President Fuad Masum and other top Iraqi leaders in Baghdad on several issues and requested Iraqi for assistance in rescuing 39 Indians taken hostage in war-ravaged Mosul two years back.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

ISRAEL
6. Israeli firms to set up cyber  security academies in India
Mumbai, Friday, 26 August 2016
Acting on bilateral agreement on homeland security between Israel and India, a cyber-security company from Israel, announced that it would establish cyber security academies in the country.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

7. Israel to further solidify cooperation with India: Israeli President Reuven Rivlin
Jerusalem, Wednesday, 3 August 2016
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that he is looking forward to his visit to India later this year and would focus on for enhancing cooperation in fields like security and innovation.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

SAUDI ARABIA
8. Indian mission collecting details of stranded workers in Saudi
New Delhi, Tuesday, 2 August 2016
Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia is collecting details of thousands of workers from the country laid off by their employers there, ahead of MoS External Affairs V K Singh’s visit there to assess the situation and finalize modalities to bring back those wanting to return home.
Source: The New Indian Express, Chennai; See Also: The Hindu, Chennai

9. Indian workers’ issue solved: Saudi envoy
New Delhi, Saturday, 6 August 2016
Saudi Ambassador to India said that the problems of Indian workers in the kingdom have been “resolved”.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai; See Also: The Indian Express, New Delhi

10. Saudi Arabia to send stranded Indian workers back at its own expense
New Delhi, Thursday, 4 August 2016
In a diplomatic victory for India, Saudi Arabia has agreed to give exit visas to hundreds of jobless Indian workers there and to send them back home at its own expense.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi

SYRIA
11. Kashmir is India’s internal issue, says Syria
New Delhi, Monday, 22 August 2016
A day after the visit of Minister of State for External Affairs, MJ Akbar to Damascus Syria’s Ambassador to India Dr. Riad Abbas said that both countries are on the “same page” on international issues.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

TURKEY
12. India, Turkey to hold extensive bilateral talks today
New Delhi, Friday, 19 August 2016
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup has offered help to Indian citizens in Turkey as the situation there continues to grow tense.
Source: The Indian Express, New Delhi; See Also: The Indian Express, New DelhiThe Indian Express, New Delhi

13. Turkey confirms support for India’s membership in NSG
New Delhi, Friday, 19 August 2016
Turkey has given its support for India’s membership in Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) ahead of a key meeting of the group in Vienna in November that would discuss the Indian case.
Source: The Economics Times, Mumbai

14. FETO has “infiltrated” India; need action to remove it: Turkey
New Delhi, Sunday, 21 August 2016
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO), blamed for last month’s failed coup, has “infiltrated” India.
Source: The Economics Times, Mumbai

UAE
15. India, Dubai to expand air traffic due to higher demand
New Delhi, Sunday, 14 August 2016
Top civil aviation ministry officials said that India’s civil aviation authorities would hold talks with their counterparts in Dubai to increase bilateral airline seat entitlements due to increased demands.
Source: The Hindu, Chennai

ECONOMIC ISSUES
EGYPT
16. India, Egypt vow to step up trade ties
New Delhi, Friday, 2 August 2016
During a bilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, India and Egypt vowed to take their economic and trade ties to the next level. Both countries have set a bilateral trade target of US$8 billion in the near future from the current US$3 billion.
Source: The Business Line, Chennai

IRAN
17. India’s Iran oil imports rise to five-year high in July -tanker data
New Delhi, Monday, 15 August 2016
In July India’s oil imports from Iran rose to their highest in at least five year. It is climbing to over 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the second time, in five months.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

ISRAEL
18. With Israel trade talks, start-ups to make a debut in India’s free trade agreements
New Delhi, Tuesday, 30 August 2016
In trade pact talks with Israel, India has expressed interest in the transfer of knowhow from that country’s defence and security start-ups.
Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

19. Israel scouts for the next big start-up in India
New Delhi, Friday, 12 August 2016
Israel is looking for exceptional women entrepreneurs in India to fly them to “Start Tel Aviv” competition. Embassy of Israel in cooperation with TiE Delhi-NCR would hold the India finals for the competition on 12 August.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

QATAR
20. Qatar National Bank gets go-ahead to open branch in India
Doha, Sunday, 28 August 2016
Gulf region’s largest lender said that Qatar National Bank (QNB) received approval to open a branch in India offering banking services.
Source: The Economic Times, Mumbai

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