India saw huge achievements geopolitically accolades to the diplomatic policies implemented by the authorities. 2023 was a year where diplomacy did took a hit considering the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Israel-Gaza discomfort.
In a year where every country looked upto India with glimmer of hope; the nation made heavy diplomatic strides. From USA to Australia the country’s representatives left no stone unturned to attend meets and have dialogues to complete certain deals. However, let’s understand the biggest standout diplomatic achievements of the world’s biggest democracy in 2023.
1. PM Modi’s state visit to USA:
The Prime Minister’s state visit to the USA was majorly focused on the defence supplies for the country. The bilateral meeting between PM Modi and US President Joe Biden took place at the White House ahead of the former’s address at the US Congress.
A mega deal on the purchase of General Atomics MQ-9 “Reaper” armed drones by India, a joint mission by the NASA and ISRO to the International Space Station in 2024 and New Delhi joining the Artemis Accords, which brings like-minded countries together on civil space exploration.
The Prime Minister graced the White house with his maiden state-visit from 21st-23rd June of this year.
2. Georgia Meloni’s visit to India:
PM Meloni’s State visit to India marked her 2nd voyage to the country. Their bilateral meet was focused on improving strategic ties between the countries. However, this became the most talked bilateral meet.
The two leaders noted with satisfaction the completion of 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. They also took stock of the progress in diverse areas of both countries’ Strategic Partnership, and agreed to bolster cooperation in areas like defence and new and emerging technologies.
Madam Prime Minister visited India from 2nd-3rd March of this year.
They noted the need for G7 and G20 to work in consonance for the greater global good. Prime Minister appreciated Italy’s support for New Delhi’s G20 Presidency and Italy’s joining of the Global Biofuel Alliance and the India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor.
3. MEA S Jaishankar’s visit to the UK:
EAM S Jaishankar paid an official visit to the United Kingdom from 11-15 November 2023. EAM called on Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Rishi Sunak, and held talks with his new counterpart, Foreign Secretary H.E. Mr. David Cameron.
He also met Secretary of State for Home, H.E. Mr. James Cleverly; Secretary of State for Defence H.E. Mr. Grant Shapps; and National Security Adviser, H.E. Mr. Tim Barrow. They also reviewed implementation of Roadmap 2030 and discussed ongoing negotiations for a India-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
4. Oman’s Sultan, his majesty, Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik’s state visit to India:
At the invitation of the President of India, Smt. Droupadi Murmu, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik, the Sultan of Oman, paid his maiden State Visit to New Delhi on 16 December 2023. His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. Hon’ble President Smt. Droupadi Murmu hosted a banquet dinner in honour of His Majesty.
PM Modi and Sultan noted with satisfaction the continued exchange of high- level visits, which have helped achieve progress in the various areas of cooperation. Both Leaders also held discussions on the entire gamut of bilateral cooperation, including political and security cooperation, defence, trade, energy security and renewables, healthcare, education, culture, and people-to-people relations.
5. Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s state visit to India:
At the invitation of Prime Minister Modi, and in the context of strengthening bilateral relations and strategic partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and of New Delhi, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid a State visit to the country on September 11, 2023.
HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. Indian President Smt Droupadi Murmu also hosted a banquet dinner in honour of His Royal Highness. At the end of the meet both the leaders signed certain MoUs based in different sectors.
6. The EFTA member states’ visit to India:
Switzerland’s Ambassador to New Delhi, Ralf Heckner, has expressed optimism that the crucial European Free Trade Association (EFTA) deal with the country would be wrapped up before the 2024 general elections. The member states were in Bengal from 11
Heckner stressed on the importance of the proposed trade deal for unlocking innovation and investment opportunities. The envoy was recently in the city to unveil the Kolkata chapter of the Swiss-India Chamber of Commerce.
Noting the sharp rise in visa application processing numbers, which hit a record 2 lakh in 2023 compared to pre-COVID levels of 1.6-1.7 lakh, Heckner said this trend would lead to enhanced trade and cultural ties between New Delhi and Switzerland in the years ahead.
7. PM Modi’s visit to UAE:
Prime Minister Modi, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) recognized the urgent need to address the global challenge of climate change through global collective action while respecting the foundational principles and obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on the Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement.
The leaders committed to enhance cooperation on climate ambition, de-carbonisation, and clean energy, and work together to have tangible and meaningful outcomes from the 28th Session of the UNFCCC Conference of Parties.
The Prime Minister was in UAE from 15th-18th July of this year.
8. PM Modi’s visit to Australia:
Prime Minister Modi addressed a large gathering of Indians at the Qudos Bank Stadium in Sydney and expressed India’s desire to open a consulate in Brisbane, a long-standing demand by the community of Indians in Australia.
Albanese also announced the establishment of a new Australian consulate in Bengaluru, with the aim of promoting ties between Australian businesses and India’s digital and innovation ecosystem, and will be a missionary Australia’s fifth ambassador to New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with his Australian counterpart Anthony Albanese at a special community event in Sydney. Credits : Hindustan Times.
Despite the failure of Japan and the United States to cancel the Quad Summit, New Delhi and Australia continue to hold important talks on cooperation for a “free, open, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific”.
At the business table, Prime Minister Modi also encouraged Australian companies to invest in various industries in the country, including digital infrastructure, telecommunications and semiconductors. Prime Minister was in Australia from 20th-23rd May of this year.
9. India’s Grand G20:
PM Modi and other world leaders visiting Raj Ghat during their stay for the G20 Summit.
India made history this year by hosting the grand and prestigious G20 event this year in the country capital G20. The preparations could not get any more grand as the GOI had prepared the ‘Bharat Mandapam’ to conduct the sessions.
The G20 Summit was a one day summit which was held from 9th-10th of September of this year.
The world could not help but praise India’s efforts. The motto attracted everyone which was ‘Vasudhev Kutambakam’ which translates to “One Earth, One Family, One Future”. India managed to achieve all of the following by hosting the G20: Green Development, Climate Finance & LiFE, Accelerated, Inclusive & Resilient Growth, Accelerating Progress on SDGs, Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure, Multilateral Institutions for the 21st century, and Women-led Development.
10. EAM Dr. S Jaishankar’s visit to Russia:
Credits : Dr. S Jaishankar’s X (Twitter) Account.
This year saw India making its relationships strong with Russia and other European countries if not the Union as a whole. Jaishankar is in Russia from 26th-31st December of this year.
The neutral diplomatic stand amidst the Russia-Ukraine conflict was taken up as a symbol of peace by the world. However, Vladimir Putin has been a great ally to India. Here is the synopsis of Jaishankar’s most recent visit to Moscow : S Jaishankar talked about increasing Oil Exports, Jaishankar tabled robust India-Russia defence deal, Both countries addressed the ₨-Ruble Issue and The Chennai-Vladivostok Corridor was also discussed.