‘India has come a long way in reaching out to West Asia’

Former Ambassador praises improving relationship with Arab countries

March 28, 2018 10:10 pm | Updated March 29, 2018 03:25 pm IST - Puducherry

Good ties:  Anil Trigunayat, former Ambassador of India to Jordan and Prof. Gurmeet Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Pondicherry University.

Good ties: Anil Trigunayat, former Ambassador of India to Jordan and Prof. Gurmeet Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Pondicherry University.

India’s policy on West Asia has shifted from “Look West” to “Link West” on the strength of its time-tested historic and civilisational links with the region, Anil Trigunayat, former Ambassador of India to Jordan, Libya and Malta, said.

In his talk on ‘India’s Outreach to West Asia’ hosted by the Pondicherry University in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr. Trigunayat, drew attention to the fact that that India has historic and civilisational links and interaction with the West Asian region at least from the Indus-Dilmun and Mesopotamia periods around 3000 BC through trade and intellectual exchanges.

While acknowledging that there was a definite concern among the Arab countries after the BJP government took over that India might tilt towards Israel at the expense of the Palestinian cause and the Indo-Arab relationship, it was no small reassurance that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit was not to Israel but to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran, he said.

‘Reinforcing interests’

Mr. Modi also became the first PM to visit Palestine while he visited the UAE twice and also Oman early this year and this has put the leaders of the region at ease and reinforced their interest in India.

Prof. Gurmeet Singh, Vice-Chancellor of Pondicherry University and Prof. P. P. Mathur, coordinator of Distinguished Lecture Series spoke.

Later, in a tweet, Mr. Trigunayat said he “enjoyed the tremendous curiosity of the young students pursuing studies in politics and international relations.” He also said the University has the “biggest and greenest campus.”

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