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The World Outside: US Clears Tibet Policy, External Affairs Minister at Qatar and Other Stories

Dec 29, 2020 07:48 PM IST The World Outside

'The World Outside' is a weekly newsletter, that will summarise the events that are happening around the world.

1. US senate clears new Tibet policy

- In a significant move that could escalate the US China friction, the United States Senate just passed the Tibet Policy and Support Act.

- The amendment in the policy is important as it states that any decision regarding the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama are exclusively within the authority of the current Dalai Lama, Tibetan Buddhist leaders and the Tibetan people.

- China’s interference in this process will be met with sanctions.

- The Central Tibetan Administration, President Lobsang Sangay called it “a momentous landmark for the Tibetan people.”

- China has rejected the move saying it “firmly opposes the U.S. Act on Tibet”. They added that “Tibet-related issues, as part of China's internal affairs, bear on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and allow no interference by any external forces… We urge the U.S. side to stop exploiting relevant issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, and take no actions to implement articles in the Act that target China and hurt China's interests, so as to avoid further damaging China-US cooperation and long-term development of the bilateral relationship.”

- In 2018, US President Donald Trump had signed the “Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act of 2018,” which promotes access for diplomats, other officials, journalists, and others from the United States to Tibetan areas of China.

- Listen to our podcast with former Indian diplomat Ambassador Phunchok Stobdan

2. External Affairs Minister in Qatar

- Dr. S. Jaishankar paid a two day stand-alone visit to Qatar from 27-28 December 2020

- During the visit he called on His Highnesses The Amir and Father Amir as well as the Prime Minister and Interior Minister of the State of Qatar and held detailed discussions with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

- Dr. S. Jaishankar handed over a personal message from Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to H.H. Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani inviting him to visit India and thanking Qatar for taking care of the Indian community during Covid-19 – as per the press release from Ministry of External Affairs.

- EAM extended invitation to Deputy PM and Foreign Minister of Qatar to visit India for the first Joint Commission Meeting in 2021.

3. Nepal foreign minister visit

- The Nepal foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali, who was supposed to visit India for the Joint Commission meeting in Decemebr will now be coming down in January end as per sources

- Meanwhile, political developments in Nepal continue to shape up after the dissolution of Parliament by the President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.

- In what is seen as open interfenece in Nepal’s domestic politics, a Communist Party of China (CPC) delegation is in Nepal to avert a split in the Nepal communist party and to help Oli retain his position too.
- The official response from the Chinese foreign ministry was - “ we hope relevant parties in Nepal can take into account the national interests and the big picture, properly manage internal differences and commit themselves to political stability and national development.”

4. Virtual meeting between Indian and Spanish Foreign Ministers

- Both leaders undertook a detailed review of bilateral ties including the extensive cooperation between the two countries during Covid-19 pandemic and possibilities of cooperation in the post-Covid scenario.

- The leaders also discussed India - EU relations and agreed to work closely in the context of the forthcoming India-EU Leaders Summit proposed to be held in Portugal in May 2021.

Look ahead

5. India in UNSC

- India will begin its 2-year tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC from 1st January, 2021

- India has already outlined its priorities: reforms in UN and to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism.

- India has also said that its tenure will “be guided ‘five S’s’ as set out by the Prime Minister — Samman (Respect), Samvad (Dialogue), Sahyog (Cooperation), and Shanti (Peace), to create conditions for universal Samriddhi (Prosperity).”

- India and the UK held bilateral consultations on UNSC issues on 18 December, 2020 through video conferencing.

- Both sides discussed in detail a wide range of issues on the UN Security Council agenda. The Indian delegation briefed their UK counterparts on its priorities during its upcoming UNSC tenure, including reformed multilateralism and counter terrorism. The UK side also informed of its priorities during its upcoming Presidency of UNSC, including Climate and Security and famine and hunger in conflict situations.​