25-OCT-2014: Mr Ishrat Aziz, former Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia, Tunisia, Brazil and UAE said that India should look at the GCC and the rest of West Asian Countries as the most strategic partners. Mr Aziz was speaking at the Aligarh Muslim University‚??s Engineering College on ‚??Need for a look West Policy,‚?? a lecture series organized by the Government of India‚??s External Affairs Ministry.
Mr Aziz pointed out that India‚??s trade with the GCC is worth 160 billion US Dollars and if Iraq and Iran are included in the trade group, the total trade will be of a whopping 195 billion US Dollars. He further said, ‚??The trade with the Middle East countries is more than the trade with the countries in European Union and the Pan America‚??.
He also said that unlike the Indian Diaspora in Europe and the North America, the Diaspora of around seven million people in the West Asia is Indian nationals. Mr Aziz added that good relations with the West Asian Countries secure a very large group of Indian nationals living abroad.
While speaking about the conflicts in Middle Eastern Countries, the former Indian Ambassador stated that India‚??s interests should be to support stable governments in these countries and facilitating efforts for peaceful solutions in countries like Iraq and Syria. He also said that the rise of political Islam in West Asia has been because of continuous terrible governance. He further said, ‚??It is important to support peaceful solutions in the Arab World to maintain good relations and trade.‚?? He also pointed that the huge amount of money, which has been used in the Middle Eastern conflict could have been diverted for development.
While talking about the Arab-Israel problem, Mr Aziz stated that like the Arab countries, Israel is also a strategic partner of India. Mr Aziz said, ‚??I have always believed in bilateral relations. I believe India can share good relations with Israel and the Arab Countries and propagate peace in the region‚??.
Presiding over the lecture, the Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor, Lt General Zameer Uddin Shah (retd) thanked Mr Aziz for enlightening the audience on India-West Asia relations. He added that if the policies and diplomacy serve the Indian National interest in the best ways, they should be included in our Country‚??s International Relations.
Thanking the guest speaker, Professor NAK Durrani, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences said that Mr Aziz has rendered distinguish services to the nation by helping to evolve pragmatic and strategic foreign policy relating to one of the most enigmatic and intricate region of West Asia and the entire Muslim world.
Prof. Durrani said that Mr. Aziz has had a long and eventful tenure in Indian Foreign Service and with sheer hard work and diligence, he has earned accolade as an articulate diplomat, discerning analyst and outstanding negotiator.
While a memento was awarded on the occasion to Mr Aziz by the Vice Chancellor, the vote of thanks was given by Professor Asmar Beg, Department of Political Science.
Related PicturesMr. Ishrat Aziz delivering lecture on Need for Look West Policy