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India’s Diplomatic Assertiveness – Dealing with Turkey and Malaysia Gives a Stern Message

dealing with Turkey and Malaysia

The fact that India has made the major world-powers either to support or be neutral for its important decisions are well-accepted now. Whether in the instance of surgical strikes and airstrikes or in the abrogation of Article 370 India made sure that the major powers in the geopolitical space treat them as India’s internal matter. Now, India’s dealing of Turkey and Malaysia on their stand on Jammu Kashmir once again marks the assertiveness of India diplomacy.

Nevertheless, it is true that some countries have expressed a contrarian view to India on Jammu and Kashmir. In earlier times, this story might have ended on that note. But the new India appears to signal to the world that if any nation wants to hold a contrarian view on the world forum, India may payback from the same playbook or it may explore other ways too to put its rivals on spot. While India seems to have evolved a different engagement mechanism with neighboring China, it is interesting to see how India is dealing with countries like Turkey and Malaysia that have refused to treat the recent actions in Jammu and Kashmir as the internal matter of India.

In a simple term, it can be said that India is conveying the world that if anyone chooses to disregard India’s interests, then they need to be aware of the consequences as well. One needs to look at the sequences of events ever since Turkey and Malaysia took contrary positions to India on Jammu and Kashmir to understand the assertiveness of India in global diplomacy.

Giving It Back to Turkey

In an unambiguous term, India condemned the stance of both Turkey and Malaysia at UNGA. India’s foreign ministry had issued a statement saying that both friendly countries should obtain a proper understanding of the situation on the ground.

But that was just a beginning. When recently Turkey decided on military action in Syria in the background of the withdrawal of American troops from the conflict zone, India issued a statement condemning Turkey’s move. India had called Turkey’s move unilateral.

Considering that the present American administration is not really in agreement with its NATO ally Turkey over its action on Syria, India’s objections add weightage to the global narrative against Turkey.

On top of it, the possible visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Turkey at the end of October has been shelved. There was an expectation that along with his Saudi Arabia visit, PM may also have a brief stop at Turkey which is now conveyed that it is not happening.

Some media reports suggest that there is also an effort from the Indian administration to keep the Turkey companies away from contracts.

 

Acting Upon Malaysia

Few days back, a report appeared in international media publications that India is thinking to curb palm oil import from Malaysia in response to the latter’s stand on Jammu and Kashmir. Considering the fact that in 2018, India was Malaysia’sthe third-largest destination of palm oil import, the effect on its economy from the possible action of India can’t be overlooked.

It is true that officially no such ban has imposed yet. But the mere signaling from the Indian side was enough to keep Malaysia on tenterhooks. The Indian traders themselves are acting to reduce their trade with Malaysia and substitute it with Indonesia. The South China Morning Post on October 18, reported that “traders in India are avoiding Malaysian palm oil imports in favour of purchases from Indonesia amid growing fears that New Delhi is weighing retaliation against the Southeast Asian nation”

The nervousness on the part of Malaysia has been visible as it proposes raising the imports of raw sugar and buffalo meat from India.

 

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