India & Middle East : Updates and Discussions

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Saudi Arabia deporting scores of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh
Days after India deported a Rohingya Muslim family of five lodged at an Assam prison to Myanmar, Saudi Arabia on Sunday prepared to send scores of Rohingya to Bangladesh.

Rohingya immigrants, some of whom have already spent five to six years in Saudi detention, were being are lined up for deportation at the Shumaisi detention centre in Jeddah on Sunday, reported the Middle East Eye.

According to video footage sent to Middle East Eye, a detainee, speaking in Rohingya, could be heard saying, that he has been in Saudi Arabia for the past six years and is now being sent to Bangladesh, where he, like other Rohingya, will become refugees.

"I've been here for the last five to six years, now they are sending me to Bangladesh. Please pray for me," he said.

Some of them were also put in handcuffs after they reportedly attempted to resist their deportation to Bangladesh, according to the voice notes sent to the Middle East Eye.

Another voice note said: "They came to our cells in the middle of the night, telling us to pack our bags, and get ready for Bangladesh. They put handcuffs on me and now making us wait."

According to Rohingya activist Nay San Lwin, if these Rohingya detainees are released in Saudi Arabia, they can support their families held in refugee camps in Bangladesh, instead of being deported to Bangladesh.

"They are not criminals to be held in handcuffs, and I am very sad to see them being treated like criminals by the Saudi authorities... Now they will be sent to refugee camps and will increase the number of refugees in Bangladesh," Lwin was quoted as saying.

Many Rohingya locked up in the Shumaisi detention centre reportedly went to Saudi Arabia on Bangladeshi passports, obtained via fake documents. Some of them have also reportedly entered the country on passports from Bhutan, India, Pakistan and Nepal.

On January 3, India deported a family of five Rohingya Muslims lodged at an Assam prison to Myanmar. A day before that a Rohingya Muslim migrant from Myanmar's Rakhine state who was kept at Ambala jail in Haryana, was sent back.

They were reportedly handed over to Myanmarese authorities at the border check point in Manipur's Moreh town.

This was the second batch of Rohingya immigrants sent to Myanmar. A batch of seven Myanmar nationals, believed to be Rohingya Muslims, were handed over to their country in October last year through the Manipur border after the Supreme Court refused to stop the first such deportation from India.

As many as 10 others still await deportation at Tezpur jail in Assam.

Rohingya Muslims escaping persecution in Myanmar and entering India has become a bone of contention between the Indian government and human rights activists. While the government dubs them as a "security threat", law-enforcement agencies in various states have been instructed to to arrest them upon identification.

In December last year, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in the Rajya Sabha about some of these illegal immigrants living in the country illegally after fraudulently obtaining Indian identity documents such as Aadhaar card, pan card and even passports.

In 2017, the Centre had informed Parliament that over 14,000 Rohingya people, registered with the UN refugee agency UNHCR stay in India.

According to government sources, most Rohingya immigrants have been staying in Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Assam, Karnataka and Kerala.
Saudi Arabia deporting scores of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh
 

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Hindi becomes third official court language in Abu Dhabi to help Indian expatriates
In a landmark decision, Abu Dhabi has included Hindi as the third official language used in its courts, alongside Arabic and English, as part of a move designed to improve access to justice.

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department on Saturday said it has extended the adoption of interactive forms of statement of claims filed before courts by including the Hindi language alongside Arabic and English in labour cases.

This is aimed at helping Hindi speakers to learn about litigation procedures, their rights and duties without a language barrier, in addition to facilitating registration procedures via unified forms available through the ADJD website, the judicial body said.

According to official figures, the UAE population is estimated to be around five million of which 2/3rd are immigrants from foreign countries. The Indian community in the UAE, numbering 2.6 million, constitutes 30% of the total population and is the largest expatriate community in the country.

Yousef Saeed Al Abri, undersecretary of the ADJD, said the adoption of multilingual interactive forms for claim sheets, grievances and requests, aims to promote judicial services in line with the plan Tomorrow 2021, and increase the transparency of litigation procedures.

"This is in addition to facilitating registration procedures to the public through simplified and easy forms and raising litigants' legal awareness via interactive forms of the statements of claims, to ensure access to the legal materials related to the subject of the dispute," Al Abri was quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times.

He indicated that the extension of the adoption of interactive forms in several languages comes under the directives of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and ADJD Chairman.

Al Abri explained that the adoption of new languages comes as part of the bilingual litigation system, the first phase of which was launched in November 2018, through the adoption of procedures requiring the plaintiffs to translate the case documents in civil and commercial lawsuits into English, if the defendant is a foreigner.

"The foreign investor receives the case files translated, thus contributing to the provision of a global judicial service that meets the requirements of residents in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi," he added.
Hindi becomes third official court language in Abu Dhabi to help Indian expatriates
 

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Shaikh Mohammad orders construction of House of Abrahamic family
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has ordered the construction of the Abrahamic Family House on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi.

The move is in commemoration of the historic visit by Pope Francis and Dr. Ahmad Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar, which culminated with the signing of the Abu Dhabi Declaration that heralds a new era in the history of humanity.

Inspired by the historic document, Shaikh Mohammad issued instructions to allocate a land plot for the construction of the Abrahamic Family House, a move that reflects the peaceful coexistence of different communities in the UAE.

The unique religious landmark symbolises the state of peaceful coexistence and human fraternity experienced by all communities living in the UAE, regardless of their nationalities, beliefs and religions.

Shaikh Mohammad, inspired by the historic interfaith document that heralds a new era of humanity, where communities of various faiths and sects can converge. The new edifice will be one of the momentous landmarks in the country and the world.
Shaikh Mohammad orders construction of House of Abrahamic family
 

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Duqm SEZ: India’s gateway port to Middle East and Africa
India should use SEZ Duqm project in Oman as a hub and gateway to reach out to not only to the Gulf nation but also the rest of the Middle East including Africa in an effort to explore and intensify business and economic trade for mutual gains, says the government. Being India’s oldest defence partner in West Asia and with access the port of Duqm, India can use it for military purpose and logistical support as it will also allow India to expand its footprints in the Indian Ocean Region.

“The investment opportunities provided through Duqm will prove to be an important milestone to further strengthening and cementing bilateral trade and economic relationship between India and Oman,” said Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, CR Chaudhary on Tuesday.

In his address at an event on Investment Opportunities in the SEZ at Duqm, jointly organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in New Delhi, the minister pointed out that the mega projects in SEZ Duqm offer great opportunities for the Indian companies in all the sectors of economy.

“India needs to engage with Oman and take initiatives to utilize opportunities arising out of the Duqm port industrial city,” Chaudhary added.

According to the ambassador of Oman to India Hamed Saif Al-Rawahi, “The two countries over the years have created some path-breaking and unique business links. The refineries and fertilizer plant at Bina and Sohar respectively are shining examples of our collective efforts for the development of both the countries”.

“Oman offers unmatched incentives to Indian investors, assuring the long-term interests of Indian investors, to set-up manufacturing facilities so that goods may be exported to USA under the aegis of unique ‘Free Trade Agreement’ which exists between Oman and USA”, Al Rawahi concluded.

The total bilateral trade between the two countries which is around $7 billion has potential to substantially multiply given the relationship of the two economies. “The total FDI from Oman into India from April 2000 to June 2018 has been of the order of $476.64 million with Oman ranking 31st in terms of FDI in India”, said Chaudhary.

With a robust security and defence cooperation, the minister urged India to further expand cooperation to new areas of mutual interest, including space, cyber security, energy security, renewable energy and food security with a view to take the strategic partnership to a higher level.

According to Yahya Said Abdullah Al Jabri, Chairman of SEZAD & Ithraa, said that the government of Oman has taken several initiatives to encourage private sector participation in the economic development of the Sultanate. This includes the establishment of logistics hubs in the form of economic zone at Duqm as well as free zone areas in Salah and Sohar and manufacturing base in the form of industrial areas in close proximity to seaports and airports. Adding “The SEZ model provides a suitable framework to establish PPP in development related business opportunities such as port, dry-dock and industrial land development.”

The Vice President, PHD Chamber, Sanjay Aggarwal emphasized saying, “India has a noteworthy presence in the Duqm Special Economic Zone, including Sebacic Oman a $1.2 billion project for the largest Sebacic acid plant in the Middle East. Also, a ‘Little India’ integrated tourism complex project in Duqm, worth $748 million on completions has been signed”.
Duqm SEZ: India’s gateway port to Middle East and Africa
 

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Rare protests erupt against Hamas’ 12-year rule over Gaza
GAZA CITY: Hamas is facing the biggest demonstrations yet against its 12-year rule of the Gaza Strip, with hundreds of Palestinians taking to the streets in recent days to protest the dire living conditions in the blockaded territory.

With little tolerance for dissent, the militant group has responded with heavy-handed tactics. It has arrested dozens of protesters, beaten activists and violently suppressed attempts by local media to cover the unrest.
Hamas has accused the rival West Bank-based Palestinian Authority of orchestrating the protests — a charge that organizers vehemently reject.

“There is no political agenda at all,” said Amin Abed, 30, an organizer who has been forced into hiding. “We simply want to live in dignity,” he said by telephone. “We just ask Hamas to ease the economic hardships and tax burdens.”

Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from the forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade, a step meant to prevent Hamas from arming.

The blockade, and three wars with Israel, have ravaged Gaza’s economy but done nothing to loosen Hamas’ grip on power.

Unemployment is over 50 percent and much higher for young university graduates like Abed. Tap water is undrinkable, electricity is limited and travel abroad severely restricted. Hamas’ cash-strapped government recently raised taxes on basic goods like bread, beans and cigarettes.

Protesters accuse Hamas of corruption and imposing the hefty taxes to enrich itself. They used social media to organize protests last week with the slogan “We want to live!”

The protests come just as Hamas marks the one-year anniversary of its weekly demonstrations along the frontier with Israel. The demonstrations, aimed largely at easing the blockade, have accomplished little, even as some 190 Palestinians have been killed and thousands wounded by Israeli fire.

This is not the first time people have taken to the streets against Hamas. Two years ago, protesters demonstrated against the chronic power cuts on a cold January day before Hamas violently dispersed them. This time around, the sporadic rallies have continued for five days, despite a similarly violent response.

“These protests were the largest, the longest and the most violent in terms of Hamas’ suppression,” said Mkhaimar Abusada, political science professor at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University.

“This was a message of anger to Hamas that the situation is unbearable and that it must reconsider all its policies,” he added.

On Monday, Amnesty International reported that hundreds of protesters have been beaten, arbitrarily arrested, tortured and subjected to ill-treatment. Journalists and human rights workers, including a researcher for the London-based organization, were also roughed up, Amnesty said.

“The crackdown on freedom of expression and the use of torture in Gaza has reached alarming new levels,” said Amnesty’s Middle East deputy director Saleh Higazi.

Osama Al-Kahlout, a journalist with the local news site Donia Al-Wattan, last week published a photo of a protester on crutches raising a sign that said “I want to live in dignity.” The next day, he was detained as he went live on Facebook during another protest.


Al-Kahlout said police smashed furniture, seized his belongings and beat him on the way to the police station. “I’m a journalist,” he said. “I don’t regret covering it.”

He said he was released after a meeting with the police chief in which officials “advised” journalists not to cover the protests.

Heba el-Buhissi, 31, who filmed the raids at her family home, said a policeman fired a warning shot in the air as others cursed and yelled at her after she started filming. Her videos show a group of Hamas police beating her cousin with wooden batons.

Other amateur videos have shown protesters burning tires and hurling stones toward Hamas forces. Hamas gunmen can be seen jumping out of vehicles and beating people with clubs. Other videos show Hamas going door to door and carrying out mass arrests.

El-Buhissi filmed the incident last Thursday when she saw Hamas dispersing some of her neighbors who had hoisted banners against tax hikes. Her family opened the home to allow youths to escape the police.
“This is what drove the police crazy, and that’s why they stormed our houses,” she said. “I felt I have to film to prove what was going on.”

The Brussels-based International Federation of Journalists reported Monday that 42 Palestinian journalists “were targeted” by Hamas forces in the past five days. The abuses included physical assaults, summons, threats, home arrests and seizure of equipment.


The official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported Monday that the spokesman of Abbas’ Fatah movement in Gaza, Atef Abu Saif, was badly beaten by Hamas.

It showed pictures of Abu Said with a bandaged leg, bruises and blood-stained clothes lying on a hospital bed.
Ammar Dwaik, director of the Independent Commission for Human Rights in Gaza, said Hamas forces have dispersed 25 protests with excessive force and arrested about 1,000 people. He said some 300 people remain in custody.

“This is worst crackdown in Gaza since the Hamas takeover in 2007 in terms of its scope and cruelty,” Dwaik said.
On Tuesday, Hamas issued a brief statement “rejecting the use of violence and repression against any Palestinian for practicing his legitimate right of expression.”

But Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official, used tougher language in a Twitter post, accusing Israel and the Palestinian Authority of conspiring to organize protests. “The attempts of the Palestinian Authority and the occupation to drive a wedge between the people and the resistance have failed,” he said.

The demonstrations appeared to subside on Monday, but organizers say the protests will continue until Hamas cancels taxes on dozens of goods, creates a national employment program and releases everyone who has been arrested in the crackdown.

Abed, the protest leader, said Hamas has stormed his family’s house and delivered an arrest warrant for him to his father.
“Hamas doesn’t want us to scream. It wants us to die in silence,” he said.
Rare protests erupt against Hamas’ 12-year rule over Gaza
 

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Saudi government raises India's Hajj quota to 2 lakh
The Saudi Arabian government has issued a formal order, notifying increase in Indias Hajj quota to 2 lakh from 1.75 lakh, about two months after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave the assurance to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, official sources said here on Friday.

The decision, taken on Thursday, will ensure that for the first time since Independence, all the Hajj applicants from all big states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar can go for the pilgrimage this year as their waiting lists have been cleared due to the increase in the quota, the sources said.

The Saudi Crown Prince, during his visit here in February, had announced at a meeting with the Prime Minister and attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi that India’s Hajj quota would be increased by about 25,000, raising the number to 2 lakh.

This is the third hike in three consecutive years. In 2017, the quota was increased by 35,000 while last year, it was raised by 5,000 to take the number to 1,75,000, the sources said.

“Due to the significant increase in India’s Hajj quota, all the applicants from Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Odisha, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab, Tripura will go to Haj 2019,” the
This time, 2,340 Muslim women from India will also go for Hajj without ‘Mehram’ or male companion, they said.

For this year’s Hajj pilgrimage, 34,397 applications have been received from Uttar Pradesh, 8,470 from West Bengal, 191 from Goa, 499 from Manipur, 698 from Odisha, 2,138 from Andhra Pradesh, 3,588 from Assam, 4,950 from Bihar, 72 from Himachal Pradesh, 2,233 from Jharkhand, 342 from Punjab, 110 from Tripura and all these applicants have become eligible after increase in India’s Haj quota, the sources said.

“Making the entire Hajj process completely online and digital has not only ensured that Haj pilgrimage has not become expensive even after removal of Haj subsidy, it has also made the Haj process absolutely pro-pilgrim,” they said.

By ensuring transparency in the Hajj process and making it 100 percent online and digital, the airfare for the pilgrimage has decreased significantly, the sources said, adding in 2018, even after removal of Hajj subsidy, pilgrims saved about Rs 57 crore in air fares.

The GST on Hajj pilgrimage has been reduced from 18 per cent to 5 per cent this year, which will ensure that about Rs 113 crore will be saved by pilgrims during the 2019 Hajj, they said.

Besides, accommodation in Madina has been taken on 100 Saudi Riyals less in comparison to the last year which will result into Indians saving about Rs 3,000 per pilgrim, the sources said.
Saudi government raises India's Hajj quota to 2 lakh | Greater Kashmir
 

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Iraq: Yazidis to accept children of IS rape victims into community
The children of Yazidi women raped by Islamic State men will be welcomed into the minority faith, a community leader said Thursday, allowing women taken as slaves by the militant group to return to Iraq from Syria.

Eido Baba Sheikh, son of the Yazidi spiritual leader Baba Sheikh, said the children of the formerly enslaved women will be treated as members of the faith, resolving one of the most difficult questions facing the community since the Islamic State group’s 2014 campaign to try to exterminate the minority.

Thousands of women and girls were forced into sexual slavery when the extremists attacked Yazidi communities in northwest Iraq. But the community shunned the women returning from captivity with children, a reflection of the deeply held Yazidi traditions to view outsiders with suspicion as a response to centuries of persecution.

U.S.-backed Kurdish forces defeated the last fragments of the IS group’s self-styled “caliphate” in Syria, in March, raising the possibility that thousands of missing Yazidi women and children might be found and reunited with their families.

Still, some 3,000 Yazidis are still missing. Many of the children enslaved by militants in 2014 were separated from their parents and given to IS families for rearing. Boys were pressed into the militants’ cub scouts, given military training, and indoctrinated in jihadi ideology.

Officials at the Beit Yazidi foundation in Kurdish-administered northeast Syria said Yazidi women with children who could have returned to Iraq were choosing to stay in Syria, instead, in order not to be separated from their children. Other women gave their young ones up for adoption to find acceptance among their community.
The Yazidi Supreme Spiritual Council issued a decree welcoming the survivors of slavery, and their children, into the Yazidi community, on Wednesday.

Murad Ismael, a founder of the global Yazidi charity Yazda, said it will nevertheless take time for the community in Iraq to accept the mothers and their children, because of the stigma of rape. “It will take a couple of years for the community to digest this fully,” he said.

He said many women and children will have to seek resettlement in other countries, some to escape the stigma of their situation, and to find psychosocial services to heal after the trauma of slavery.

The community sent two representatives to search for Yazidi women and children in the camps in northeast Syria, where tens of thousands of civilians who survived the IS caliphate are waiting to be returned to their places of origin, said Eido Baba Sheikh. He said it is believed that there c

ould be Yazidi children among foreign or IS families in the camps, a result of the sale of Yazidis under the caliphate. Complicating the search will be that many of the children may have never learned to identify as Yazidis, or to speak Kurmanji, the language of the community. Women and older children may have started to identify with their captors, as well, confounding search efforts.

And though the community will recognize the children of Yazidi survivors as Yazidis, they will still face legal difficulties in Iraq, said Eido Baba Sheikh. Under the country’s family laws, a child is registered under the nationality and religion of their father, and it is unclear whether Iraq will allow Yazidi survivors to register their children as Iraqi Yazidis when there are questions about the children’s patrimony.

Also on Thursday, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish regional government asked for continued U.S. support to allow Iraqis displaced by the war with IS to return to their homes, according to a State Department statement on a call between Barzani and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

Iraq’s Kurdish region hosts more than 1 million displaced people, including many of the 200,000 Yazidis forced to flee their homes when the Islamic State militants attacked their communities in 2014.
Iraq: Yazidis to accept children of IS rape victims into community
 

Gautam

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Modi’s Agenda 2.0 for the Middle East

P. R. Kumaraswamy
May 24, 2019

The resounding re-election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a blessing for India's relations with the countries of the Middle East. With Sushma Swaraj not contesting in these elections, India will be looking for a new External Affairs Minister, but Modi's imprints will be more pronounced than before.

During his first term, Modi had invested considerable political capital, time and resources in cultivating critical players in the Middle East, namely, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Iran in the Persian Gulf region, and Israel in the Levant. Through personal engagement and hardnosed economic interest-driven calculations, he managed to befriend leaders of these countries, who at times do not talk to one another.

The second term should enable Modi to reap the fruits of his political investments and elevate his engagements to a higher level. At the same time, he will not be able to escape from some of the pressing and challenging problems.

First and foremost will be Iran, which has been a major foreign policy challenge since the end of the Cold War. Domestic electoral success will not be enough for Modi to override the determination of the Trump Administration to halt Iran's oil exports completely. The US refused to extend the 200,000 barrels per day waiver granted to India last November, and this meant that India would not be able to import crude oil from Iran from May 2 without evoking American displeasure and even anger. A section of the political class, largely unrepresented in the new Lok Sabha, might advocate a defiant stand to exhibit India's strategic ‘autonomy.’ States do not have the luxury of committing hara-kiri. Hence, Modi will have to devise a balanced approach vis-à-vis the United States and its demands on Iran.

Along with the November waiver on imports, the Trump Administration had excluded Chabahar port from the purview of sanctions. This should give Modi a golden opportunity to satisfy both the United States and Iran. The actual Indian investment in the Iranian port is much lower than the US$ 500 million touted in official circles. By enhancing its financial commitments to the Chabahar Port project, India could mollify Iranian displeasure over the stopping of crude imports.

In other words, what India needs to do is stop the import of Iranian crude to satisfy the United States and expand its financial commitments to the Chabahar project to keep Iran in good humour!

Second, Modi should slash the bureaucratic cobwebs and enable the flow of investments from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which have committed to invest up to US$ 75 and 100 billion, respectively, in India. If the Ratnagiri refinery does not take off due to land issues, Modi should explore other western coastal states to facilitate Saudi-Emirati investments in the mega refinery project. Should Etihad exit from the troubled Jet Air, Modi’s personal equation with the Emirati leadership, would be helpful in the privatization of Air India.

Three, the ongoing intra-Gulf crisis over Qatar does not serve India's interest. Given its economic, political, energy and expatriate links, an early resolution of the Saudi-Qatari standoff is in India's interest. Mediation often comes with inadequate returns and burns, and India has eschewed, and rightly so, the temptation to mediate the Arab-Israeli conflict or the Saudi-Iranian rivalry. But the intra-Gulf Arab acrimony is different and India's stakes are vital. Further, during his first term in office, Modi had established a personal rapport with all key players involved in the crisis, namely Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin-Salman, Emirate Crown Prince Mohammed al-Nahyan and Qatari Emir Tamim al-Thani, and have met them many times. Modi should use the massive domestic mandate and his personal contacts with these leaders to initiate a dialogue process. It is both a doable and vital proposition that Modi considers bridging or healing the rift among Gulf Arab monarchs.

Fourth, China has managed to entice the Gulf Arab countries to endorse and partake in its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. Given the abundance of sovereign wealth, Arab countries are a better bet for China than impoverished Asian and African economies. This would mean that, India will have to expand its trade basket and move into investment projects with the Gulf Arab countries. The Indo-Omani joint fertiliser company in Sur and India’s economic partnership with Jordan presents a model and precedent for more energised Indian investment in the Gulf economies. The government should also encourage the private sector to expand its presence in the Middle Eastern economies, especially the Persian Gulf region.

Five, India should expand its presence in the Israeli economy and technology market through selective but aggressive investments aimed at technology acquisition. More robust cybersecurity cooperation with Israel would require identification of critical areas and significant financial commitments. Mere statements and Memoranda of Understanding will not get India cutting edge technologies.

Lastly, India's growing political engagements with the Middle East must be given more extensive publicity within the country. Looking primarily through the Pakistani prism, many commentators have either ignored the Indo-Gulf and Indo-Middle Eastern relations or have come to the wrong conclusion that under Modi India's relations with the Islamic world has deteriorated. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Modi has skilfully balanced the Israeli-Palestinian, Saudi-Iranian and Saudi-Qatari binaries and furthered India's interests. Saudi and Emirati leaders have bestowed their highest honours on Prime Minister Modi just days before the Lok Sabha elections, thus indicating the status of India's relations with the Muslim world under Modi. A proper understanding of Modi's Middle East policy since 2014 will not only generate broader domestic support for it but also enhance India's influence in the region. If the mantra of NDA-1 was active engagement, now is the time for action.

Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IDSA or of the Government of India.

Modi’s Agenda 2.0 for the Middle East | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
 

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Indian Military Academy to train UAE army officers, soldiers

Published July 19, 2019

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Indian Army gets 382 new officers, while 77 cadets from friendly foreign countries join their respective armies after graduating from the Indian Military Academy following a glittering passing out parade (POP) in Dehradun.

Spear-heading India’s outreach to the Middle East in defence cooperation, the Indian Military Academy (IMA) will train the United Arab Emirates (UAE) troopers.

As part of the programme a 20-member UAE contingent reached the IMA on Wednesday, IMA spokesman Lt Col Amit Dagar said on Thursday.

The 7-week training, between July 18 and August 31, would involve various drills, the bedrock of discipline in the armed forces, Lt Col Dagar said.

The army has been facilitating this kind of training engagements with a large number of militaries. However, this is the first time that the UAE officers and soldiers will be trained at the IMA.

The interaction among troopers would go a long way in enhancing the relations between the two countries, the spokesman said. The UAE had participated in the 2017 Republic Day parade as a leading contingent, he added.

IMA to train UAE army officers, soldiers
 

Gautam

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700 injured in Yemeni civil war get medical treatment with India, UAE cooperation

Updated: Jul 24, 2019 01:01 IST
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The UAE has fully funded the treatment of the Yemeni nationals while India has facilitated the process by issuing visas to the injured people and those accompanying them, an official of Delhi-based VPS Medeor Hospitals, where most of the patients were treated, said on Tuesday.
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India and the United Arab Emirates have helped facilitate the treatment of more than 700 people, including military personnel, wounded in the civil war in Yemen, with Indian doctors performing life-saving procedures and helping rehabilitate seriously injured persons.

The UAE has fully funded the treatment of the Yemeni nationals while India has facilitated the process by issuing visas to the injured people and those accompanying them, an official of Delhi-based VPS Medeor Hospitals, where most of the patients were treated, said on Tuesday.

“This is part of the cooperation between healthcare organisations in India and the UAE. We sent the injured to India because of the excellence in healthcare and a majority of them were sent to India,” said UAE ambassador Ahmed al-Banna.

The UAE is a key partner in the Saudi-led military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to back the internationally-recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi against Houthi rebels aligned with Iran.

Al-Banna said the coalition is doing its best to ensure there were no civilian casualties but “sometimes it happens”. However, members of government militias and military personnel outnumbered the civilians sent to India for treatment, he said. So far, 729 injured Yemeni nationals and 325 people accompanying them had been sent to India from June 2016 to December 2018.

More than 600 people were treated by Medeor Hospitals, which is currently looking after another batch of 28 injured. Most of them had blast and bullet injuries.

Doctors treating the injured said their task was complicated by the fact that most of the patients had already undergone multiple surgeries and their wounds had affected their limbs and joints.

The UAE is preparing to bring a fresh batch of injured in the coming weeks.

700 injured in Yemeni civil war get medical treatment with India, UAE cooperation