A blockbuster year in Indian diplomacy


New Delhi : From Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, who visited India in January, to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s trip in December, 2010 has been an eventful year for Indian diplomacy. Here are the highlights:

Support TwoCircles

Jan 10-12 – Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed visits India. India, Bangladesh sign anti-terror pacts; New Delhi announces $1 billion in line of credit for infrastructure development.

March 12 – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s visit yields lucrative deals in diverse areas including oil exploration, diamonds, banking and fertilisers. Putin vows to build more nuclear reactors for India.

June 2-4 – During South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma’s visit, India and South Africa relaunch CEOs forum, sign three pacts, set a trade target of $10 billion by 2010 and vow to reform the UN.

July 25-29 – In the face of Western criticism, India welcomes Myanmar’s Gen Than Shwe. The two countries sign six pacts to boost counter-terror cooperation and cement cultural ties, underlining a streak of pragmatism in India’s foreign policy.

July 27-29 – British Prime Minister David Cameron is the first leader of P5 to visit India. A nuclear agreement and a $1.1 billion defence deal for supplying 57 Hawk trainer jets to India are inked. Britain is outspoken about Pakistan “exporting terrorism”.

Oct 14: Mirroring the changing architecture of the evolving global order, India wins a rotating non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council with a record 187 votes in the 192-member UN General Assembly Oct 12.

Nov 6-9 – US President Barack Obama’s charm offensive visit is the scene-stealer of 2010. Strikes deals worth $15 billion that are expected to create 54,000 jobs in the US. Obama also endorses India’s candidature for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council, backs India’s full membership of NSG, Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), the Australia Group and the Wassenaar Arrangement and asks Pakistan to bring 26/11 terrorists to justice.

Nov 14 – External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna asks Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi to show sensitivity to India’s core concerns and says that Jammu and Kashmir is to India what Taiwan and Tibet are to China.

Dec 4-7 – French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s visit sees deals worth $20 billion being unveiled and nuclear giant Areva signing a pact for building two nuclear reactors in Maharashtra.

Dec 15-17 – No breakthrough on stapled visas, but Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit sees the two sides seal deals worth $16 billion, launch a CEOs forum and a strategic economic dialogue to address over $20 billion trade imbalance.

Dec 21-22 – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit sees the inking of 29 pacts, including a preliminary deal for building the fifth generation fighter jet that will eventually work out to $30 billion. Russia also asks Pakistan to bring the “authors, perpetrators and accomplices” of the Mumbai terror attack to justice.