In the world of globalization, international affairs are akin to national affairs This is why an election for the President’s office in the United States, matters as much to India as does the relationship between India and China matters to them. The world is interconnected, and in the era of globalization, the boundaries seem to have blurred to a large extent.
In 2017, some events that happened internationally need to be recounted as one bids adieu to the year. The year began as Donald Trump sworn in as the President of the United States. He remained in news for most part of the year for some very controversial decisions. At first, he chose to annul the Trans-Pacific Partnership, that was a mega-regional trade deal between 12 countries.
Then, he announced the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement, that was forged in 2015 to reduce the menace of climate-change by putting up efforts to reduce the rise in average temperature levels through different means and ways. He referred to climatechange as a hoax-theory being peddled to hurt the United States’ economic interests. Climate change is real and the US, a rich country, could have helped in terms of resources as well as developing adaption and mitigation techniques through the technological aid.
The “Qatar-diplomatic crisis” happened in June, when some Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia chose to sever ties with Qatar for their alleged support to terrorist groups. They alleged Qatar of supporting the groups like “Brotherhood Movement” and tarred “Al-Jazeera”, a news channel based in Qatar, as an agency fomenting terrorism. This led to a blockade of essentials to Qatar followed by the repatriation of Qatari citizens working in those countries.
Europe has also been in quite a turmoil these days. This time, the center of friction was Spain, where Catalonia voted for separation from the country in a referendum. The Prime Minister of Spain, as well as the highest court of the country, rejected the referendum as mala-fide, illegal and unconstitutional. The elections to the state were re-held, but much to the delight of separatist voices, the separatist parties got the majority of votes. The region stays in turmoil because of its bay for a separate country and this year will see if the tumult in the region is becalmed or is rather aggravated.
North Korea remained persistent in its nuclear policy, accumulating more and more destroyers despite the resolutions passed against the country in the UN Security Council (UNSC) meet. The rhetoric and harangue from both sides, the USA and North Korea remained ceaseless. The UNSC passed more resolutions against North Korea reducing the export of crude oil and refined petroleum products.
Lastly, on December 5, Donald Trump made an unprecedented decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. This decision earned him widespread pillory from the entire world, that was eventually endorsed in the resolution passed by the United Nations condemning the decision. Jerusalem has been the central bone of contention between the Israel-Palestine conflict and any change in status-quo regarding the city had the prospects of signaling a change in the status of the USA as a neutral moderator.
Mahmud Abbas, the Palestinian PM retaliated by shunning the meet with Mike Pence, the Vice-President of the US who was scheduled to visit the region. India chose to support its traditional policy of voting in favour of Palestine. This, despite the fact that Prime Minister Modi had visited Israel a few months ago and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli PM is scheduled to visit India.
India and Israel have been getting closer but the Indian Government chose to side with the Palestine side in the UN presumably to avert any backlash and confrontation from the Arab allies. The repercussions of voting against the US are yet to be seen, given the fact that Donald Trump, runs International diplomacy alike business transaction and the disapproval of his policy by its strategic partner in the South-Asian region could have some repercussions, the intensity of which may be felt in 2018.
However, it seems that Pakistan, remains the most belligerent adversary of India. Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind of 26/11 attacks, launched a political party named Milli Muslim League(MML) and announced that he will be contesting the 2018 general elections. If he succeeds in his endeavor to run for a political office, this will further worsen Indo-Pak relations. It will also lead to more problems for Pakistan at the international level, as the world will ask more questions to the country.