India's Proximity Archives

India's Proximity Archives

South Asia 
Pakistan Army Chief, General Syed Asim Munir, is on an official visit to the US from December 10. During his visit, he held meetings with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin, and Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla, the Commander of the US Central Command (Centcom). In a news briefing on December 18, US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said Pakistan is a “major non-Nato ally of the United States and a Nato partner”. Further, he said, “We look forward to partnering with them on regional security and defence cooperation.” In the meetings, Pakistan and the US agreed to enhance cooperation on matters related to counter-terrorism and defence collaboration, according to ISPR’s statement.            . 

Southeast Asia
The Commemorative Summit for the 50th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation was convened in Tokyo, Japan on December 17. The meeting was co-chaired by Prime Minister Kishida of Japan and President Joko Widodo of Indonesia. During the Summit, President Widodo highlighted two priority areas of the ASEAN - strengthening food and energy security and accelerating digital transformation. The leaders reaffirmed their “respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, settlement of differences or disputes by peaceful means and renunciation of the threat or use of force”, according to the joint statement. 
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East Asia
The Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi, held a high-level meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister of the DPRK, Pak Myong Ho, in Beijing on December 18. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China stated that the two sides exchanged views on “issues of mutual interest”. Deputy Foreign Minister Pak Myong Ho underscored DPRK’s intent to “enhance coordination with China on multilateral affairs, safeguard the common interests of the two countries, and contribute to peace and stability in the region.”
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West Asia
Amidst Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have escalated attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, which has caused major shipping companies to suspend their operations. On December 18, to ensure freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, US Defence Secretary, Lloyd Austin, announced the establishment of “Operation Prosperity Guardian”, a new multinational security initiative under the umbrella of the Combined Maritime Forces. On December 19, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also discussed the importance of ensuring the safety of maritime traffic in the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb.     

In a significant strategic and diplomatic blow to China, Sri Lanka has reportedly imposed a 12-month moratorium on granting permissions to foreign research vessels to operate in its waters. Reports claim, the decision was taken in a bid to prevent Chinese ‘research-cum-spy’ ships from docking at Lankan ports. “The government is considering a year-long moratorium on granting permission for foreign research vessels to conduct surveys in Sri Lankan waters or its exclusive economic zone (EEZ),” a senior Lankan minister stated.

Central Asia
The meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was held in Moscow on December 18. The leaders highlighted the importance of the CIS as an important platform for dialogue and interaction among participating states in many domains. Armenia who has been absent from many pro-Russian meetings was represented by Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigoryan. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is scheduled to take part in the upcoming council of CIS leaders meeting in Saint Petersburg on December 25-26.