Mixed optics: Saudi Crown Prince’s India visit

 

 

Mixed optics: Saudi Crown Prince’s India visit

The Saudi Crown Prince’s visit highlighted the complexities in bilateral ties
As a standalone visit, the day-long trip(दिन भर की यात्रा) of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (MBS) to New Delhi will be regarded(मानना) as a diplomatic(राजनयिक/नीति संबंधी) success, given the numerous(अनेक/कई ) outcomes(परिणाम). After talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two sides announced(घोषणा ) measures(उपाय कार्यवाही) to upgrade the defence partnership, create a “Strategi(सामरिक/महत्वपूर्ण) Partnership(साझेदारी ) Council(परिषद /समिति)” to coordinate(समन्वय/समकक्ष) on security issues(सुरक्षा मुद्दों ), and institute regular talks between the two national security advisers(सलाहकार) to discuss counter-terrorism(आतंकवाद के विरुद्ध,), intelligence-sharing and maritime security(समुद्री सुरक्षा।). Saudi Arabia has also expressed(व्यक्त) its interest(रुचि) in investing(निवेश ) in infrastructure projects worth about $26 billion. This is beyond(परे/ऊपर) its already committed investments in India of $44 billion for the existing(मौजूदा ) joint(संयुक्त) venture(व्यापार/जोखिम का काम ) with the public sector oil undertakings and public fund investments of $10 billion. The language on terrorism in the joint statement was something of a dampener(हतोत्साहित) for those who would have hoped there would be stronger(कड़ी)condemnation(निंदा) ) of the terror attack in Pulwama. But it was significant that the Saudi government agreed(सहमत/अनुकूल हुआ) to insert an extra(अतिरिक्त ) clause(वाक्यांश/खण्ड) calling on states to renounce(त्याग करना/दूर करना) the “use of terrorism as an instrument(साधन) of state policy”. It also acknowledged that disputes(विवादों/विचार) between India and Pakistan must be resolved bilaterally(द्विपक्षीय ). At the leadership level, Mr. Modi extended(बढ़ा दिया/विस्तारित) more than a personal touch to the visit by going to the airport and embracing(संमिलित करना/गले) the Crown Prince on landing. The prince repaid the compliment(तारीफ/प्रशंसा), agreeing(सहमति) to increase Haj quotas and release 850 Indians from Saudi jails after a plea from Mr. Modi.

These announcements(घोषणाएं ) and gestures(संकेत/इशारा) would have been far more significant had it not been for the fact that MBS’s trip came on the heels of his visit to Pakistan just after(ठीक बाद ) the Pulwama attack. As a result, his India visit is being measured against the statements made during his Pakistan visit, where he praised(प्रशंसा की) Islamabad for its fight against terrorism. He also announced $20 billion worth of investments, in addition(इसके अलावा/वृद्धि) to previously announced aid of $6 billion in cash(नकदी ) and reserves(भंडार). While such comparisons(तुलना ) may be unwarranted(अनुचित /नाजायज), the visit to Delhi would have benefited(फायदा ) in terms(शर्तें) of optics(प्रकाशिकी) if it hadn’t been preceded(पहले/बेहतर ) so closely(बारीकी /नज़दीक) by the one to Islamabad. The Modi government also overplayed(पानी फेर दिया) its expectations(उम्मीदों ) from the visit by billing it as part of a diplomatic(राजनयिक ) offensive(रोषकारी/आक्रामक) aimed at ‘isolating(अलग कर देना)’ Pakistan in order to hold it to account for Pulwama. India and Saudi Arabia have steadily(तेजी से/बराबर या व्यवस्थित रुप से ) built(बनाए) bilateral(संबंध) relations and taken great care over the past two decades(दशक) to ‘de-hyphenate’ them from ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. India-Saudi Arabia ties were strengthened(मजबूत किया) into a strategic partnership announced in 2010 in the Riyadh Declaration(घोषणा) when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid a visit, and were bolstered by King Salman’s visit in February 2014 and Mr. Modi’s 2016 trip to Saudi Arabia. Point-scoring with Pakistan, or attempting(प्रयास करने से/आज़माना) to compare the outcomes of the two visits, now only undermines the carefully built compact(समझौता) between New Delhi and Riyadh.

 

Important Vocabulary

1. diplomatic(राजनयिक/नीति संबंधी)
Synonyms: conciliatory, gracious, polite, strategic, adept
Antonyms: rude, artless, impolite, tactless

2. coordinate(समन्वय/समकक्ष)
Synonyms: correlative, correspondent, counterpart, equal, equalized
Antonyms: different, dissimilar, unlike, variable

3. Council(परिषद /समिति)
Synonyms: assembly, board, body, cabinet, chamber
Antonyms: individual, one

4. Partnership(साझेदारी )
Synonyms: assistance, association, business, company, cooperation
Antonyms: division, hindrance, separation, stoppage, detachment

5. outcomes(परिणाम).
Synonyms: conclusion, event, fallout, issue, reaction
Antonyms: cause, source, origin, start, beginning

6. venture(व्यापार/जोखिम का काम
Synonyms: deal, endeavor, enterprise, experiment, investment
Antonyms: idleness, assurance, certainty, fact, inaction

7.optics(प्रकाशिकी)
Synonyms: eyesight, perception, view, eyes, faculty
Antonyms: actuality, blindness, fact, reality, sightlessness

8. condemnation(निंदा) )
Synonyms: accusation, censure, denunciation, disapproval, judgment
Antonyms: approval, compliment, endorsement, praise, sanction

9. embracing(संमिलित करना/गले)
Synonyms: grasp, clasp, clinch, clin, clutch
Antonyms: free, give, let go, loose, push away

10. dampener(हतोत्साहित)
Synonyms: complainer, grouch, moaner, pessimist, whiner

11. gestures(संकेत/इशारा)
Synonyms: action, body language, expression, indication, nod
Antonyms: speech

12. praised(प्रशंसा की)
Synonyms: exalted, aided, blessed, celebrated, extolled

13. offensive(रोषकारी/आक्रामक)
Synonyms: abhorrent, abusive, annoying, distasteful, embarrassing
Antonyms: agreeable, delightful,good, kind

14. compact(समझौता)
Synonyms: solid, tight, bunched, close, compressed
Antonyms: empty, loose, uncrowded, unfriendly, big

15. steadily(तेजी से/बराबर या व्यवस्थित रुप से )
Synonyms: regularly, fixedly, immovably, undeviatingly, unwaveringly

16. addition(इसके अलावा/वृद्धि
Synonyms: extension, inclusion, accession, annexation, attachment
Antonyms: decrease, deduction, lessening, loss, reduction

17. overplayed(पानी फेर दिया
Synonyms: exaggerate, maximize, overdo, overemphasize, overstate
Antonyms: play down

 

 

Credit To The Hindu News Paper

The Saudi Crown Prince’s visit highlighted the complexities in bilateral ties
As a standalone visit, the day-long trip of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (MBS) to New Delhi will be regarded as a diplomatic success, given the numerous outcomes. After talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two sides announced measures to upgrade the defence partnership, create a “Strategic Partnership Council” to coordinate on security issues, and institute regular talks between the two national security advisers to discuss counter-terrorism, intelligence-sharing and maritime security. Saudi Arabia has also expressed its interest in investing in infrastructure projects worth about $26 billion. This is beyond its already committed investments in India of $44 billion for the existing joint venture with the public sector oil undertakings and public fund investments of $10 billion. The language on terrorism in the joint statement was something of a dampener for those who would have hoped there would be stronger condemnation of the terror attack in Pulwama. But it was significant that the Saudi government agreed to insert an extra clause calling on states to renounce the “use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy”. It also acknowledged that disputes between India and Pakistan must be resolved bilaterally. At the leadership level, Mr. Modi extended more than a personal touch to the visit by going to the airport and embracing the Crown Prince on landing. The prince repaid the compliment, agreeing to increase Haj quotas and release 850 Indians from Saudi jails after a plea from Mr. Modi.

These announcements and gestures would have been far more significant had it not been for the fact that MBS’s trip came on the heels of his visit to Pakistan just after the Pulwama attack. As a result, his India visit is being measured against the statements made during his Pakistan visit, where he praised Islamabad for its fight against terrorism. He also announced $20 billion worth of investments, in addition to previously announced aid of $6 billion in cash and reserves. While such comparisons may be unwarranted, the visit to Delhi would have benefited in terms of optics if it hadn’t been preceded so closely by the one to Islamabad. The Modi government also overplayed its expectations from the visit by billing it as part of a diplomatic offensive aimed at ‘isolating’ Pakistan in order to hold it to account for Pulwama. India and Saudi Arabia have steadily built bilateral relations and taken great care over the past two decades to ‘de-hyphenate’ them from ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. India-Saudi Arabia ties were strengthened into a strategic partnership announced in 2010 in the Riyadh Declaration when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid a visit, and were bolstered by King Salman’s visit in February 2014 and Mr. Modi’s 2016 trip to Saudi Arabia. Point-scoring with Pakistan, or attempting to compare the outcomes of the two visits, now only undermines the carefully built compact between New Delhi and Riyadh.

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