President Donald Trump has given up on foreign policy except in West Asia(REUTERS)
President Donald Trump has given up on foreign policy except in West Asia(REUTERS)

Donald Trump’s last push in West Asia | HT Editorial

Mr Trump’s team is tying up the loose ends of what it sees as its great foreign policy moment — getting a slew of Gulf Arab nations to recognise Israel and concretise an anti-Iran coalition
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2020 11:25 PM IST

President Donald Trump has given up on foreign policy except in West Asia. His administration is presumed to have had a role in the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist last week. His son-in-law has flown to the Persian Gulf for one last diplomatic roundabout. Mr Trump’s team is tying up the loose ends of what it sees as its great foreign policy moment — getting a slew of Gulf Arab nations to recognise Israel and concretise an anti-Iran coalition.

West Asia’s deepest geopolitical fault-line no longer runs between Israelis and Arabs but between Shia Persians and Sunni Arabs. It was the Gulf monarchies which applauded Mr Trump ending the Iran nuclear agreement, initiated the Israel outreach and are now working to ensure all this will be fait accompli for President-elect Joe Biden. Mr Biden’s foreign policy supports the Arab-Israeli rapprochement. But it may be frosty towards Saudi Arabia and includes plans to resurrect the Iran nuclear agreement. The last won’t be easy. Iran has 12 times more low-enriched uranium than the original agreement allowed while Washington has zero diplomatic credibility.

The stakes are high. The Arab Street has no love for Israel. Iran’s informal empire remains intact but broke. Outsiders must tread this minefield carefully. India has even more reason to avoid a regional role and continue to maintain a set of bilateral relationships. Pakistan is struggling. The United Arab Emirates banned visas for Pakistan and others who opposed normalisation of ties with Israel. As West Asian politics becomes ever more cut-throat, Islamabad may have to choose between ideological sanctity and economic stability. Either way will be to New Delhi’s advantage.

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Farmers take part in a protest against the newly passed farm laws on the outskirts of Delhi, December 17, 2020 (REUTERS)
Farmers take part in a protest against the newly passed farm laws on the outskirts of Delhi, December 17, 2020 (REUTERS)

Farmers should shed rigidity

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The government retreated. Protesting groups should have reciprocated. In a democracy, farm groups exercised their right to protest — but they should not take over the rights of a sovereign Parliament and an elected government, and dictate terms from the streets.
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UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 06:20 AM IST
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Along with domestic priorities, the Biden presidency will have to deal with the most important strategic challenge of the times— the belligerence of China (AFP)
Along with domestic priorities, the Biden presidency will have to deal with the most important strategic challenge of the times— the belligerence of China (AFP)

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Delhi’s air quality slipped into the “severe” category on Tuesday, for the sixth time this month (Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

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Farm unions have not responded to the government’s offer to amend the laws, or to the Supreme Court’s directive to cooperate with a committee meant to examine the issue in detail (PTI)
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Don’t let challenges turn intractable | HT Editorial

UPDATED ON JAN 19, 2021 06:20 AM IST
Both the China ingression and the stance of the farm unions are disparate issues, born out of their own specific histories
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According to a news report, US President-elect Joe Biden has appointed at least 20 Indian-Americans, with 17 of them in White House positions — 13 of the 20 also happen to be women. (AFP)

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Prime Minister KP Oli’s unconstitutional move to dissolve Parliament (the new Nepali Constitution does not give the PM the right to do so) has led to a de facto split in the Nepal Communist Party (NCP). (Getty Images)

Delhi’s balancing act with Nepal | HT Editorial

By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JAN 15, 2021 08:37 AM IST
Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali is in Delhi for a bilateral meeting
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Upholding the right to liberty and privacy | HT Editorial

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A man holds the flags of India and the US while people take part in the 35th India Day Parade, New York, August 16, 2015 (REUTERS)

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The Narendra Modi government has, to its credit, also unleashed important second-generation reforms in critical sectors such as labour and agriculture during the pandemic(PTI)
The Narendra Modi government has, to its credit, also unleashed important second-generation reforms in critical sectors such as labour and agriculture during the pandemic(PTI)

The economy is looking up | HT Editorial

By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times
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US President Donald Trump speaks in Washington, January 6, 2021(REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump speaks in Washington, January 6, 2021(REUTERS)

The destructive legacy of Donald Trump | HT Editorial

UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2021 07:40 PM IST
The US has witnessed one of the darkest days in its history. Hold the president accountable
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