Syria and India's Presidency of UNSC

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Virendra, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

    Oct 16, 2010
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    Delhi, India, India
    Excerpts of a nice column I read at SAAG today displaying the importance of counter balancing diplomacy.
    Syria and India's Presidency of UNSC

    The pressure is mounting on Syrian President Bashar al Assad to put an end to the killings. President Assad remains defiant of calls from the international community, to a certain extent due to the support of countries like Russia, Iran, India, Brazil and South Africa, all of whom are part of the UNSC, except Iran. Among them, India currently holds the rotating Presidency of the UNSC for the month of August, which has meant Indian diplomats have lobbied extensively against any international action on Syrian regime.
    Why does India say no?
    India has age-old cultural and political linkages with the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries as a result of which it has resisted from getting too involved in their internal politics; reason being the presence of significant Muslim population back home....

    India wants to pursue an independent foreign policy where it doesn't get used as a cannon fodder of Western policies. But it is not just this diplomatic principle that is driving India's present approach to the Syrian crisis but it is their aspiration to fashion strong alliance with Iran....

    President Assad belongs to the Alawite sect of Shia Islam and has always found strong support in the Shia majority Iran. The Iranian government has come out openly in support of the Assad regime. Syrian regime's closeness to Tehran is seen by India as an opportunity to further strengthen their ties with Iran. Syrian vice-foreign minister Feysel Mekdad visited New Delhi to garner support for his government....

    India is designing its policy towards Syria taking into account the post-US withdrawal dynamics in Afghanistan. With the date for US withdrawal from Afghanistan coming near, Indian diplomats are increasingly worried about protecting its interests in Afghanistan, taking into consideration Pakistan's hostility to Indian presence. The government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is now turning to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to strengthen its presence in Afghanistan. By allying with Iran, Afghanistan's western neighbour, India wants to counter-balance the Pakistani influence there. With its historical and cultural linkages with Iran, New Delhi has always felt some degree of closeness to Tehran. With the US withdrawal coming near, Indian government is looking to build a New Delhi - Tehran - Moscow axis in Kabul to counter the China - Pakistan axis there. India's role in the Syrian crisis is part of this wider strategy....

    But in its bid to forge newer alliances and rebuild the older ones, India might be distancing itself from its natural allies like Unites States and United Kingdom, who are increasingly frustrated by India's stubbornness on the Syrian issue. India along with Brazil and South Africa are eyeing a permanent seat at the UNSC, for which it requires the support the permanent members, USA & UK. India's present actions will definitely make these countries rethink their support for India's UNSC bid.

    What now?
    India is walking a fine line in the Syrian crisis, as it tries to handle its relations with both western and eastern countries. If India wants to an internationally recognized power, it needs take a stand on universal issues such as human rights.....

  3. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

    Feb 19, 2009
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    Land of the GODS - "Dev Bhomi".
    US, UK and their likes need to get one thing straight, which is, much like the way there are no zero sum games for them when it comes to India and Pakistan, similarly there will be no such zero sum games when it comes to Indian interests vis-a-vis their counter interests. India will pursue its interests in the direction it best suits us, if it is anti-west, sorry but we cant help it and India is no Pakistan if they take us as one.

    More importantly, Indian diplomats and the political circles including bjp see the arab spring in countries like Libya and Syria as no more than a war for control over oil pursued by the west under the pretext of democracy, freedom this, freedom that, with the aim of getting in a leadership that will allow the west to have their companies have a stake in all those oil assets. All the talk of democracy and freedom is hogwash and no more and lastly, India might be the largest democracy but we are not in the business of pushing our idea of democracy and governance on other countries, which we believe should be best left to countries for themselves to decide upon.

    I was surprised to see the extent to which Libya developed under gaddafi, the things most Indians take as luxury, the state there would provide free and without taxing the public, things like a house, a car, health and if the domestic health services didn’t have the requisite services, the complete overseas trip, medication overseas their stay etc would all be state sponsored and so much more but then challenging the western hegemony wont be taken lightly when you have one of the as a super power and there will be consequences. Interestingly all those benefits free of charge will disappear for the Libyans as time goes by.

    Other than that, yes, there is a crucial iran-afghanistan-russia angle but not the arab angle because the sunni arabs led by KSA want some sort of a military intervention in Syria which removes the leadership, which is completely contrary to the indian stand.

    Why was the same west sleeping over Bahrain?
    Virendra likes this.

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