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What can global diplomacy expect from a third term of Narendra Modi ?

Photo: Manish Swarup Associated Press Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted his supporters on Tuesday as he arrived at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in New Delhi, India, following his victory in the parliamentary elections.

Parvaiz Bukhari – Agence France-Presse in New Delhi

Published on June 5

  • Asia

The Hindu nationalist Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, who has already significantly strengthened India's diplomatic influence in ten years in power, intends, during his third term, to make the country a key player of the Global South. He will attempt to do so within a government coalition made up of 15 allied parties which, with Mr. Modi's party, have a total of 293 seats in Parliament, thus gaining control.

The leader has positioned himself as a leading spokesperson for the loosely structured Global South, and his five additional years at the helm of the world's most populous country should help him rank among the most powerful people on the planet, despite a reduced parliamentary majority following the legislative elections.

The 73-year-old Prime Minister is campaigning so that India, which has exceeded the China in terms of population and which has atomic weapons, obtains a seat as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Wishing to find a counterweight to the military and economic power of Beijing, Western countries are taking great care of the South Asian giant, which has become the fifth largest economy in the world and a client of choice for exports of arms and aircraft, and this, despite the concern of rights defenders who denounce growing authoritarianism and a decline in freedoms.

“Mr Modi will be one of the most important leaders on the world stage, with three electoral victories to his name,” predicts Harsh V. Pant, professor of international relations at King’s College London. “He has set big ambitions for himself and India and is unlikely to compromise. »

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Mr. Modi was able to take advantage of India’s presidency of the G20 in 2023 to restore his image abroad. He also hopes to take advantage of the Cricket World Cup organized last year by his country to win the organization of the 2036 Summer Olympics.

Here is that we can expect from a third mandate from Narendra Modi on the diplomatic level.

United States and Europe

India is part, along with the United States, Japan and Australia, of the Quad, an informal military alliance created in response to China's growing ambitions in the Asia region -Pacific.

President Joe Biden called the relationship with New Delhi “a major partnership of the 21st century” and touted “common values” during a meeting in Washington last year.

In February, the United States approved the sale of $4 billion in high-tech drones to India, which is modernizing its defense against the might of China's armed forces.

< p>Last year, American justice indicted an Indian for planning an assassination in New York, with the consent of the Indian intelligence agency.

India is also getting closer to European countries, notably France, with whom it is negotiating new defense contracts worth several billion euros, including Rafale fighter planes and Scorpène submarines.

M. Modi was the guest of honor at the July 14 military parade in Paris last year.


If China is India's great rival, it remains its second largest trading partner.

Beijing and New Delhi are also all two members, alongside Moscow and others, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional group.

Relations between the two countries have soured since a clash on their shared border in the Himalayas in June 2020, in which 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese soldiers were killed.

Territorial claims remain a constant source of tension in the area, where tens of thousands of troops face off.

The Indian government has invested billions of dollars in its borders and increased its military spending by 13% last year. But that is only a quarter of China’s military budget.

Jayant Prasad, a former Indian ambassador, said the “adversarial relationship” will continue. “India, along with its friends, will try to curb China's assertiveness,” he said.

Global South

Narendra Modi this week called New Delhi a “strong and important voice from the South.”

Host last year of the G20 summit, India worked for it to welcome into its ranks the African Union (AU), a strong signal for Africa which has contributed to consolidating the country's position as a leader of the countries of the South.

India is also one of the founding members of BRICS, an organization representing emerging powers, including Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa.


Russia and India have had good relations since the Cold War and Russia remains far behind its largest arms supplier.

India, which avoided explicitly condemning Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and which abstained from voting on UN resolutions targeting Moscow, has also become one of the main outlets for oil sold at high prices. reduced by Russia.

M. Modi congratulated Vladimir Putin on his re-election in March and said he looked forward to deepening their “special” relationship.


Mr Modi's government has refused all contact with its historic rival Pakistan after accusing Islamabad of engaging in “cross-border terrorism”.< /p>

India and Pakistan, since their independence in 1947, have claimed sovereignty over the entirety of Kashmir. This Himalayan territory was the cause of two of the three wars between the two countries.

New Delhi accuses Islamabad of supporting separatists, which Pakistan refutes.< /p>

In 2015, shortly after his first election, Narendra Modi made a surprise visit to the Pakistani city of Lahore, but relations have since collapsed following the revocation of Indian Kashmir's semi-autonomous status in 2019.

In March, Mr. Modi still congratulated his Pakistani counterpart, Shehbaz Sharif, on his return to power, which was interpreted as a gesture of goodwill and reignited the hope of a thaw between these countries, both of which have nuclear weapons.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116