India should be cordial with other countries

India should be cordial with other countries
Highlights

As soon as PM Modi takes office for the second time, the Iran, US, China and Russia files will demand his immediate attention.

As soon as PM Modi takes office for the second time, the Iran, US, China and Russia files will demand his immediate attention.

As will the neighbourhood, especially Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal — all of which are showing inclination to sign Beijing's project for communication links.

The most important relationship that needs retuning with intervention from the Prime Minister himself is the US. And it needs a Modi-Trump face-to-face meeting to iron out several wrinkles.

On the bilateral level, there are trade disputes that India deliberately kept on the backburner because of the ongoing elections.

Then there are implications of American displeasure with Iran and Russia that is causing collateral damage to India's national interests.

India also needs to determine for itself how far it can afford to tango with the 'Quad' (a grouping that includes the US, Australia and Japan) in the maritime domain around China.

India can well comply with US directions to turn its back on Iranian oil. But unlike Japan, the oil ties are not India's only relationship with Tehran.

India is also participating in two major transportation projects running across the heart of Iran. This will help it overcome the Pakistani refusal to allow India transit access through its territory.

PM Modi will be stretched in collaborating with Iran to develop its port of Chabahar and extending a rail link into Afghanistan and Central Asia while maintaining a distance on the oil relationship.

Divakar Reddy M, Vijayawada, AP

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