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Updated December 29th, 2023 at 15:56 IST

How India's foreign policy shined in 2023: A look at New Delhi's key diplomacy wins

Let’s have a look on the significant geopolitical events which shaped India’s position on the global stage;

Apoorva Shukla
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi | Image: PTI/File
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Delhi: As the year 2023 comes to an end, Indians got a major piece of good news- the death sentence of the eight former Indian navy officers awarded by a Qatar court was reduced to prison sentence, adding one more jewel to India’s foreign policy. Indian foreign policy has been quite simple this year- focus on strategic autonomy, putting the national interest first. However, with the eevr changing geopolitical dynamics it has been tough for New Delhi to navigate through the international pressure, global turmoil, and gradual shifts.

Let’s have a look on the significant geopolitical events which shaped India’s position on the global stage; 

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The year began with a chapter of friendship with a friend situated in the Middle East. On Republic day, India hosted Egyptian President Abdel Fateh El Sisi, a move that led to PM Modi visiting Egypt in June this year. 

While February began with a tragedy with a massive earthquake shaking Turkey and Syria, India emerged as the first responder. India launched  'Operation Dost' for assistance to the quake-hit countries testifying New Delhi’s policy of humanitarian preference over politics. The operation was christened 'Dost', which means 'Friend' in Hindi.

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While the month of March gave India the opportunity to bring the US and Russia on the same table after the beginning of war in Ukraine during the G20 foreign ministers’ meet, April became a hell of a task with war breaking out in Sudan. India launched Operation Kaveri to evacuate the citizens residing in Sudan. 

Apart from G20, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit held in the month of May in Goa had New Delhi working on the neighbourhood policy as China and Pakistan were the participants. The highlight of the meeting also remained EAM's presser in Goa, where he said ."Victims of terrorism do not sit together with perpetrators of terrorism to discuss terrorism."

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Next PM Modi travelled to Hiroshima, Japan to attend the G7 summit, followed by the PM's trip to Sydney and Papua New Guinea. The visits cemented India’s position as the leader of Global South. 

In June, the White House rolled out the red carpet for Prime Minister Modi. He was invited by President Joe Biden for a state visit and dinner, the highest of diplomatic receptions typically reserved for only the closest of allies. The two countries decided to collaborate on multiple issues-  technologies, space, energy and defence. 

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In July of this year, India hosted Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe. His visit was to reinforce the longstanding friendship between the two countries and explore avenues for enhanced connectivity and mutually beneficial cooperation across sectors.

In August, India’s moon mission- Chandrayaan-3 successfully captured the global headlines by landing on the South Pole of the Moon. Notably, Prime Minister Modi was in South Africa for the BRICS summit. Addressing from there, the Prime Minister said that the success of Chandrayaan-3. 

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The success of Chandrayaan-3 became louder with India hosting the G20 leaders summit. The G20 leaders’ summit further pushed India on the centre stage with the inclusion of the African Union in the group. 

However, there came a halt in India’s global rise with Canada levelling up allegations against India. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accused India of having a hand in the murder of a Khalistani terrorist in Canada. India has called these claims absurd and asked for evidence that Trudeau has so far failed to provide.

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One of the worst and most tragic events of 2023 was on October 7. Hamas terrorists entered Israel, broke through Israel's border defences, and took several of them as hostages, including women and children. In response, Israel launched a military campaign to eradicate Hamas. The war is still ongoing, with no sight of a halt. It is the deadliest attack on Israel since its founding. 

India was among the first countries to react to the ongoing development. On October 7, hours after the attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a statement on X expressing his deep shock at the "terrorist attacks" and saying, "We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour." Since then, PM Modi has spoken to various leaders and discussed the ongoing situation.

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The month of November brought along the COP28 or the Conference of Parties- which gave India an opportunity to showcase its efforts to limit global warming. During his UAE visit, PM Modi proposed to host COP33 in India in 2028. 

In December, Indian external affairs minister Jaishankar hailed the "very strong" and "very steady" relationship between India and Russia. He said in Moscow that 'India-Russia relations are the only constant in global politics', New Delhi and Moscow are "valued and steady partners." The Qatar court order added to the joy. 

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Published December 29th, 2023 at 15:56 IST

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