India aims to build Arab relations

India's junior foreign minister will be holding talks with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat to strengthen relations.

    Singh wants to find a balance with Middle East relations

    Analysts say the trip aims to address perceptions that New Delhi has been developing close ties with Israel.

     

    Edappakath Ahamad's three-day visit beginning on Friday is hoped to prove the government's commitment and support to the Palestinian cause, a foreign ministry statement said.

     

    Ahamad will also meet Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath, the statement added.

     

    The new Congress-led government which took office in May reiterated in its first policy blueprint India's commitment to the Palestinian people for a homeland of their own.

     

    In 1992, under a Congress-led government, India resumed diplomatic ties with Israel after treating the country like a pariah state for decades.

     

    Military links

     

    Under the Hindu nationalist government which lost power in May, India forged close military links with Israel and acquired military hardware at a cost of a billion dollars.

     

    But the new government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has preferred to follow a more nuanced approach, according to analysts.

     

    "The present government is following a policy of trying to find the right balance," said C Uday Bhaskar of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses.

     

    "It is a prudent gesture ... there was a perception that India was ignoring the interests of the Arab people," he said, adding that high-level contacts would help redress such perceptions.

     

    "India has an abiding interest in [the Middle East] and the situation there cannot be seen in a black and white manner.

     

    "Many countries are following a nuanced policy with both these constituencies and India is no exception," he said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    All Hail The Algorithm

    All Hail The Algorithm

    A five-part series exploring the impact of algorithms on our everyday lives.

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    The priceless racism of the Duke of Edinburgh

    Prince Philip has done the world an extraordinary service by exposing the racist hypocrisy of "Western civilisation".

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    China will determine the future of Venezuela

    There are a number of reasons why Beijing continues to back Maduro's government despite suffering financial losses.