- Oct 19, 2021
- Myind Staff
A possible “new Quad” meeting was held among the foreign ministers of India, Israel, the UAE and the US on Monday between four nations with well backed economy to discuss on various aspects of issues and cooperation that can increase trade, enhance cooperation in maritime security, global public health, joint infrastructure projects in transportation and technology. Among all these, support for public health due to COVID-19 pandemic was also discussed in the meeting. The meeting, took place virtually and “decided to establish an international forum for economic cooperation" with the four ministers in next meeting that will be soon held probably next month according to some Israeli readouts. For this meeting, Indian foreign minister S. Jaishankar and Israeli foreign minister Yair Lapid joined the talks from Israel whereas the UAE foreign minister Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and US secretary of state Antony Blinken joined from their respective capitals. “During the meeting, the four ministers held a discussion on possibilities for joint infrastructure projects in the fields of transportation, technology, maritime security, and economics and trade, as well as for additional joint projects," the Israeli statement said. Each country will appoint senior professionals to a joint working group that will formulate options for cooperation, the Israeli statement added. Israeli foreign minister Lapid introduced the idea of such a “quadrilateral" meeting as the four countries had a “unique set of capabilities, knowledge, and experience that can be used to create the network that we all want to see created". “I think the word we’re looking for here is synergy, because this is what we’re going to try and create starting with this meeting. Synergy that will help us work together on infrastructure, digital infrastructure, transport, maritime security and other things that preoccupy us all," Lapid said according to the Israeli statement. US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that the four countries “discussed expanding economic and political cooperation in the Middle East and Asia, including through trade, combating climate change, energy cooperation, and increasing maritime security". Blinken “reiterated the Biden Administration’s support for the Abraham Accords and normalization agreements and discussed future opportunities for collaboration in the region and globally", Price said. “Discussed working together more closely on economic growth and global issues. Agreed on expeditious follow-up," Jaishankar said in a Twitter post after the talks. Blinken in his Twitter post said that the meeting had focused on “shared issues of concern in the region and globally, and the importance of expanding our economic and political collaboration". The meeting comes amid the ongoing talks on the Abraham Accords. A statement issued by Israeli embassy in New Delhi said the Abraham Accords agreement between Israel and the UAE had “paved the way for friendships and business partnerships across the region”. The statement added, “India being a friend of both the UAE and Israel is clearly the preferred partner to leverage the global potential of the UAE, Israel and India trilateral.” India while supporting the Abraham Accords said that they, “has always supported peace and stability in West Asia which is our extended neighbourhood. As such we welcome these agreements for normalization of relations between Israel and UAE and Bahrain." However, Israel, India and UAE have already established trilateral cooperation in trade and investment. In May, India, Israel and the UAE their partnership gains more strength when an Israeli company was to produce robotic solar cleaning technology in India for a project in the UAE. And these new four nations meeting gives India a hope of flexibility to engage more freely with Israel and other partners in the Gulf region. If we talk about defense trade between the two countries then Israel emerges as a key security partner since the trade is valued at about $1 billion annually. Whereas the UAE remains an important and strategic partner for India when it comes to tackle the Pakistan. Image Source: UNI
UNESCO, Paris, France : On the occasion of the Non-Violence day and Gandhi Jayanthi celebrations at UNESCO, Bhavana Pradyumna Curated an event through Carnatic Conservatory of Paris as a part of Permanent Delegation of India at UNESCO. It was also the formal launch of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav- Celebrating 75 years of Indian Independence, at UNESCO. The Event was attended by delegates from more than 100+ countries. The “Salle 2” at UNESCO was full. His Excellency Vishal V Sharma, Ambassador of Permanent Delegate of India to UNESCO inaugurated the event. Shamila Nair-Bedouelle, Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences at UNESCO was the Chief Guest of the Event. Shamila Nair, who is from South Africa, outlined Mahatma Gandhi’s life and transformative time in South Africa. Under the able guidance, of His Excellency Shri Vishal Sharma, and Ambassador Smt. Pooja Sharma, the cultural event “SAMATVAM”, was presented. Samatvam means Equanimity. The root word in language Sanskrit is “sama” – means equal or even. “saamya” means equal consideration towards all human beings. India is the country of Unity in diversity. It represents Samatvam. Which means equanimity in culture and tradition. Diverse Indian classical dance forms were presented on one platform. All the different dance forms were weaved together with Carnatic style of Indian classical music, which has its origin in Vedas. Chanting of Vedas is listed in UNESCO as one of World’s intangible heritage. 9 years old Aniruddha Kandadai recited Samatvam Shloka from Rig Veda and Shanti Shloka (Om poornamadah poornamidam…) from Isha Upanishad of Yajur Veda. Bhavana Pradyumna played the Vedas on Saraswathi Veena. The meaning of the Shanti Shloka (Om poornamadah poornamidam…) was explained to the diverse audience. Pradyumna Kandadai, who was the guest of the evening cultural programme explained that “In a Matter based world, when something is taken out of that which is existing, the existing matter reduces. Rather X-X = 0. In a consciousness-based Universe, which is infinitely expansive the rules are different! When Infinity is taken out of Infinity, there still remains Infinity! The verse talks about the profound concept of Infinite energy which is the one source of this whole universe. The verses end by seeking Peace to Prevail! Om Peace peace peace.” It is important to note that this caught the attention of Vishal V Sharma, Ambassador of Permanent Delegate of India to UNESCO. Thomas Vo Van Tao, a French mohiniyaTTam artist presented the customary dance, chollukaTTu. Blessings were sought from Lord Ganesha, to remove all obstacles. Beautiful miniature paintings from across India, were projected in the background. Sharmila Sharma presented a Kathak Performance for Goswami Tulsidas written “Shri Ramachandra Kripalu" or "Shri Ram Stuti". The prayer/ode which glorifies Shri Rāma and his characteristics to the best, was gracefully presented. Miniature Paintings depicting various incidents/moments from the epic Ramayana was played in the background. Bhavna Pradyumna’s Soulful and melodious rendition of “Vaishnava Jana to”, which is written and composed by the 15th century Gujarati poet-composer Narsinh Mehta, which lays emphasis on the ideals and virtues one has to follow in life, and which was one of the favorite Bhajan of Mahatma Gandhi, took the audience to Sabarmati Ashram! The Event concluded with Thillana or Tarana, which is a rhythmic piece that is performed at the end of a concert. It is important to note that mohiniyaTTam is performed with Sopanam style of music, and Kathak with Hindustani style of Music. The musicians rendered Carnatic style of Music. The Audience got to witness how these three diverse forms of Indian art, united to present a beautiful Tillana! Thus, reflecting SAMATVAM- Celebrating Unity in Diversity: the very essence of what India represents! The event was ably supported by Dr. Venkatkrishnan Sundaram on Mridangam, and Pragash Parameswaralingam on Violin. Many in the audience, including Ambassador Smt. Pooja Sharma were very appreciative of Thomas’ mohiniyaTTam, and Bhavana’s Singing. All Artists had won the hearts of the audience, who expressed their happiness through roaring applause. Ms. Mallika Sudhir, Second Secretary (PDI Paris), said that the Audience were delighted to watch a true Indian event in a long time! Ms Soumya Chandrashekharachari, First Secretary, Deputy Permanent Delegate (PDI Paris) declared the evening a grand success. The Event, and the evening was so well received, that Ambassadors from different countries, Assistant Director Generals, and Director General of UNESCO expressed their happiness on Twitter. All the images are provided by the author.
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