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April 2011

Bilateral Issues


1. Indian killed in crossfire in Bahrain

New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram, Friday, 18 March 2011

An Indian was killed in a crossfire in Bahrain, which is witnessing protests for past several weeks, even as Indian government advised its nationals there to stock up big on rations and not to go out of their homes, saying the situation was 'tense but calm'.

Source: Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad

Also see: Hindustan Times, New Delhi

2. Wipro, Infosys, TCS recall staff from Bahrain

Chennai/Bangalore, Monday, 21 March 2011

Many Indian IT companies have decided to evacuate their employees from Bahrain in view of the recent protests. There are around 350,000 Indians in Bahrain. Wipro, Infosys, TCS and other companies have a substantial presence in the country.

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi

3. Indians demand condemning atrocities against Shias in Bahrain

Chennai, Monday, 28 March 2011

The Muslim community in Tamil Nadu, led by the chief Shia Kazi Ghulam Mohammed Mehdi Khan, has urged the Union government to condemn the aggression on ‘freedom fighters’ of Yemen, Libya and Bahrain and said rising against oppression and support for the oppressed is found in the roots of the Indian culture.

Source: The New Inidan Express, Chennai

4. Will ensure safety and security of Indians: Bahrain to India

New Delhi, Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed Al-Khalifa has assured India that it would ensure the safety and security of the 350,000 strong Indian community in that country, which is witnessing wide-spread anti-government protests.

Source: The Asian Age, New Delhi

Also See: The Hindu, Chennai


5. 'Egypt situation may hit import of fertilizer inputs'

New Delhi, Thursday, 3 March 2011

The Government informed the parliament that the import of raw materials for fertilizers is likely to be ‘adversely’ affected by the uncertain political scenario in Egypt after Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down.

Source: Business Line, Chennai

6. Krishna discusses hostage issue with Egypt envoy

New Delhi, Monday, 7 March 2011

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna met Egyptian Ambassador Khaled el Bakly and discussed the recent incident of Somali pirates hijacking a ship which among others had six Indian sailors on board.

Source: IBN Live


7. India pays Iran 1.5 bn Euro in oil dues

New Delhi, Friday, 4 March 2011

Indian refiners have made payment of €1.5 billion for crude bought from the National Iranian Oil Company, ending over two months of supply concerns after the RBI scrapped a regional money-transfer mechanism.

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi

Also See: Reuters

8. Indian NSA Menon meets Iranian President

Tehran, Tuesday, 8 March 2011

In a meeting with India's National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon on Monday in Tehran, The Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad spoke about the need for India and Iran to cooperate as both the countries share humane perspectives on international affairs.

Source: Rediff

9. India's Iran policy: designed for ‘domestic consumption'?

London, Tuesday, 15 March 2011

According to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, the US administration believes that India's Iran policy is meant for ‘public consumption,'' mostly to please the ‘domestic Muslim and Non-Aligned Movement audience.’'

Source: The Hindu, Chennai

10. Iran has right to peaceful nuclear energy: India

UN Headquarters, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Emphasizing Iran's right to pursue a civilian nuclear programme, India’s envoy to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said that Teheran should reassure the international community that its nuclear project is only meant for peaceful purposes.

Source: The Statesman, Kolkata

11. Germany to help India, Iran in oil fund row-report

Berlin, Monday, 28 March 2011

Germany has agreed to help India make payments for Iranian oil to a Hamburg-based bank, allowing funds to pass through the Bundesbank. This would facilitate payment of some € 9 billion (US$ 12.65 billion) annually for Iranian oil.

Source: Reuters

12. India's oil deal with Iran gets U.S worried

Washington, Thursday, 31 March 2011

Officials in the U.S. Treasury Department were ‘concerned’ that a German bank was facilitating Indian oil payments to Iran after the Reserve Bank of India closed the Asian Clearing Union in December.

Source: United Press International


13. Israel assisting India in its security needs: Envoy

Washington, Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Describing as dynamic its relationship with India, Israel has said that it has been of assistance to New Delhi in its security needs. ‘There is a defence relationship with India. Not only there is defence relationship, Israel has been and is of assistance to India in its security needs. We are proud of being there,’ Israeli Ambassador Mark Sofer, told a group of Indian journalists in Washington.

Source: Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad

14. Israel formulates programme to boost exports to India, China

Jerusalem, Wednesday, 9 March 2011

At the instructions of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has formulated a three-year programme with a budget of 100 million shekels (US$ 26 million) to boost its exports to two Asian giants, India and China.

Source: The Economic Times, New Delhi

Also see: Business Standard, Mumbai

15. Israel's PR offensive in India

London, Friday, 18 March 2011

According to a March 2008 diplomatic cable ascribed to the then US Ambassador to India David Mulford and released by WikiLeaks, Israel is desperately trying to create a ‘shinier image of itself as a friend of the Indian people’' to match its growing diplomatic clout in New Delhi.

Source: The Hindu, Chennai

16. Rafael lines up $1.8 billion India deal

Tel Aviv, Tuesday, 29 March 2011

The Rafael Advanced Defence Systems is expected to secure an anti-tank missile order worth US$ 1 billion from the Indian military, consolidating Israel as a key arms supplier amid a major armed forces upgrade.

Source: United Press International


17. Kuwait trade set to rise

Kolkata, Monday, 14 March 2011

Bilateral trade between India and Kuwait is set to increase to US$ 12 billion by the end of 2011. At present, the two-way trade stands at US$ 10.5 billion annually of which crude oil export from the oil-rich Gulf country is US$ 9 billion.

Source: The Telegraph, Kolkata


18. Krishna seeks Libya’s help to evacuate Indians

New Delhi, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

With no signs of violence ending in Libya, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna spoke to his Libyan counterpart Mussa Kussa on Tuesday and sought his support to evacuate Indians from Libya.

Source: The Hindu, Chennai

19. ‘Indian team at UNSC asked to oppose imposition of general sanctions’

New Delhi, Friday, 4 March 2011

Referring to the question of India supporting sanctions against Libya, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said that the Indian delegation at the UNSC had clear instructions to oppose the imposition of general sanctions, because they hurt the people at large.

Source: The Hindu, Chennai

20. India regrets the UN sanctioned air strikes.

New Delhi, Monday, 21 March 2011

India on Sunday regretted the UN-sanctioned air strikes launched by the US led forces on Libya and urged all parties to resolve their differences through peaceful means, abjuring the use of force.

Source: The Hindu, Chennai

Also see: The Indian Express, New Delhi

21. Libya unrest to impact Indian companies, say experts

New Delhi, Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Fears of increasing oil prices and energy crisis loom large as Western forces continued their onslaught on Libya for the third day on Tuesday. RS Sharma, former chairman ONGC, told Financial Express, ‘The situation is very grave for India, because our vulnerability is perhaps the highest as we are heavily dependent on imports.’

Source: The Financial Express, New Delhi


22. Jitters over attack on Indian mall in Oman

Washington, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

The first targeted attack on an Indian-owned property in the Omani town of Sohar has sent up a wave of concern in New Delhi that it may have to brace for an influx of its citizens from the Gulf.

Source: The Telegraph, Kolkata


23. Amnesty report draws parallel between Kashmir and Palestine

Srinagar, Sunday, 20 March 2011

In a 70-page report focusing on the Jammu & Kashmir Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA), human rights watchdog Amnesty International has compared the Indian police methods in Kashmir with those of Israeli security forces in the occupied territories.

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi

Saudi Arabia

24. Sify Technologies and Saudi Telecom Announce Partnership to Serve Global Telecommunication Markets

Chennai, Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Indian ICT company Sify Technologies Limited announced their partnership with Saudi Telecom (STC), the largest telecom services provider in the Middle East and North Africa. The partnership will help the companies leverage their respective investments in submarine and terrestrial telecom capacities and value added ICT services.

Source: Reuters

25. Indian ‘concern' over Saudi funding for extremists

London, Thursday, 17 March 2011

According to a September 2009 US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, India is ‘concerned’ that Saudi Arabia is funding religious schools and organizations that contribute to extremism in South Asia, including India.

Source: The Hindu, Chennai

26. India navy vessels arrive at Jubail Port

Jubail, Saturday, 26 March 2011

Three Indian navy ships from the Southern Naval Command—INS Tir, INS Krishna and ICGS Veera—arrived at Jubail Port Thursday, as part of efforts to enhance relations with Saudi Arabia.

Source: The Saudi Gazette, Riyadh

27. Mecca Imam for setting up Islamic TV channel

New Delhi, Sunday, 27 March 2011

During his five day tour to India, the Kabah mosque’s shahi imam Abdul Rehman Sudais called for the setting up of a new TV channel to spread the teachings of the Sahaba—the colleagues of Prophet Mohammed.

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi

28. Indian foreign minister rejects interference in ‘internal affairs’

Jeddah, Monday, 28 March 2011

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has said that New Delhi is keen to strengthen its strategic partnership with Riyadh to promote peace and security in the region and the wider world. He said the Indian government ‘rejects any third-state interference in the internal affairs of any country.’

Source: The Saudi Gazette, Riyadh


29. Will bring back Mideast Indians: SM Krishna

Bangalore, Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Ministry of External Affairs has all its emergency operations in place in the wake of political unrest in Bahrain. ‘We are prepared for any eventuality. There is no reason to panic, and we will bring all Indians living in Bahrain, Yemen and Oman safely just as we did for the 17,250 people evacuated from Libya,’ External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said.

Source: The Times of India, New Delhi

30. Indian minister seeks increase in Hajj quota

Jeddah, Sunday, 27 March 2011

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, on his trip to the Kingdom to discuss various issues of Hajj management, asked for an increase in the number of Indian pilgrims permitted to perform Hajj this year.

Source: The Saudi Gazette, Riyadh

Compiled by Shubhra Chaturvedi

Shubhra Chaturvedi is a Graduate student at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. 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