Indians more likely to believe nation’s influence is growing: Pew survey



International Desk, Barta24.com
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India enjoyed a positive image across 23 countries, with a median of 46% adults holding a favourable view of India, while a median of 34% held unfavourable views, according to an international survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, a Washington DC-based fact tank.

The report, released ahead of the gathering of world leaders for the G20 Summit in India in September, pointed to a variance between how Indians perceived Prime Minister Narendra Modi and India’s influence, and the views of adults in other countries. For instance, 79% of Indian respondents had a favourable view of Mr. Modi, with a majority 55% having a ‘very’ favourable view. In contrast, in other countries, a median of 37% reported having confidence in Mr. Modi. Kenyans had the highest faith in Mr. Modi, with 60% saying they trusted him to do the right thing regarding world affairs, while only 12% in Argentina said they had confidence in the Indian Prime Minister.

The report also detailed how outside India, substantial respondents in many countries did not offer an opinion on India or Mr. Modi, with 40% of U.S. adults surveyed saying they had never heard of Mr. Modi. Among Americans who had heard of him, “The prevailing sentiment is negative: 37% have little or no confidence in his ability to do the right thing regarding world affairs, compared with 21% who are confident in him.”

A similar pattern was evident with regard to perceptions of India as a rising power. While seven-in-ten Indians believed their country has recently become more influential, only 28% across 19 countries said the same. Most respondents in these counties believed that “India’s influence had not changed much in recent years (48% median),” but only 19% of Indians agreed with this view.

While perceptions of India skewed positive across the 23 countries surveyed, European attitudes toward India have turned negative over time, the report stated. Favourable views of India had declined by around 10 percentage points or more in all five European countries where past data was available. The greatest change was seen in France, where only 39% held a favourable view of India now, as compared with 70% in 2008.

Among other key findings, the survey also found that Indians stood out from their cohorts in other countries for their highly favourable views of Russia and Vladimir Putin, and unfavourable views of China. “Whereas a median of only 14% across 22 countries have a positive view of Russia, a 57% majority of Indians see Russia favourably,” the report noted. When it came to China, India was “the only middle-income country surveyed where a majority has unfavourable views of China”. In contrast, the U.S. was seen more favourably in India (65%) than in many of the countries surveyed.

One continuing trend from previous surveys was the persistence of negative attitudes toward Pakistan in India. The survey found that around 75% of Indian adults held unfavourable views about Pakistan, with 57% holding a ‘very’ unfavourable opinion. This pattern has held since 2013, with unfavourable views of Pakistan never dipping below 60%, the report observed.

Interestingly, while Mr. Modi emerged as the politician who commanded the highest percentage (80%) of favourable views within India, 60% of Indians saw Rahul Gandhi in a favourable light while 34% viewed him unfavourably.

The Pew Center report is based on a nationally representative survey of 2,611 adults in India, 3,756 American adults, and 24,674 adults in other countries from Asia, Europe, Australia, Africa, North America and Latin America. The surveys were conducted during February-May, 2023.

   

Italy is interested in selling arms to Bangladesh



International Desk, Barta24.com
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Italy is interested in selling various types of weapons and military equipment including fighter jets, satellites, patrol ships to Bangladesh. The European country wants to sign a defense agreement with Bangladesh to facilitate the sale of arms.

The matter may gain importance in the foreign secretary level talks of the two countries to be held in Dhaka on Monday (June 24).

Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the second political consultation meeting of the two countries will be held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday afternoon. The meeting will be led by Foreign Secretary Masood Bin Momen on behalf of Bangladesh and Riccardo Guariglia, Secretary General of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on behalf of Italy.

Last month, Italian Ambassador Antonio Alessandro paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban. At that time, he told the Prime Minister that his country is interested in the transfer of technology including the sale of arms for the modernization of the armed forces of Bangladesh. Italy is also preparing to give a second satellite to Bangladesh.

According to diplomatic sources, the agenda of the meeting of the foreign secretaries of the two countries to be held in Dhaka on Monday includes issues such as political cooperation, trade, investment, defense, immigration, satellite technology, information and communication technology, cyber security.

When asked about defense cooperation, a related senior official said that Italy has offered to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the defense sector several years ago. The country is quite interested in this matter. In recent years, Italy has been giving special importance to the issue of defense in cooperation with Bangladesh.

According to various sources, Italy is interested in selling various types of equipment to the Bangladesh Air Force and Navy. Thales Alenia, a joint venture of France's Thales and Italy's Leonardo, has shown interest in selling the second satellite to Bangladesh. In addition to aircraft, security and aerospace maker Leonardo is talking about aircraft maintenance and technology transfer. And Italian shipbuilders have offered to sell coastal patrol vessels as well as transfer technology.

However, several officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that no new project is being taken up due to financial reasons including the crisis of reserves. In such a situation, there will be no final decision about Italy's armament at the moment. And the defense MoU will not be signed now as several procedural issues are pending.

Officials in Dhaka said that the issue of safe and orderly migration of workers from Bangladesh will be given importance in this meeting between the two countries. Italy drafted a memorandum of understanding to Bangladesh in February this year to facilitate safe migration between the two countries. This draft will be discussed.

It is known that the Rohingya crisis will be discussed due to the deteriorating internal situation in Myanmar in the discussion between the foreign secretaries of the two countries. A part of the Italian delegation will visit Cox's Bazar after the meeting.

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This time Palestine was recognized by another European country



International Desk, Barta24.com
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This time, another European country, Armenia, has recognized Palestine as an independent state. At the same time, the country has strongly condemned the barbaric attacks and massacres by the Israeli forces in the besieged Gaza territory of Palestine.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Eastern European country made this announcement on Friday (June 21), Arab News reported in its report.

In the declaration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia demanded an end to Israeli violence in the entire Palestinian territory, including Gaza. By granting this recognition, the Eastern European country supports the Palestinian people's right to self-determination and their legitimate status as an independent state.

Earlier, the Slovenian government approved the decision to recognize Palestine as an independent state on May 30. The Slovenian prime minister also demanded an immediate end to the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza and the release of all Israeli prisoners.

Spain, Norway and Ireland officially recognized Palestine as an independent state on May 28. The leaders of the countries said that their countries officially recognize the Palestinian state for peace in the Middle East.

So far, about 145 UN countries have recognized Palestine.

Incidentally, starting from October 7, Israel has been carrying out indiscriminate massacres and barbaric attacks in Gaza, which is besieged by Palestine, for about eight months. More than 37,000 Palestinians have already been killed in Israeli attacks. Most of them are women and children. Besides, more than 88 thousand people were injured.

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Butcher Jihad in 14 days jail custody again



International Desk, Barta24.com
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Jhenaidah-4 Constituency MP Anwarul Azim Anar's murder case accused butcher Jihad Howladar has been ordered to 14 days in jail custody again.

Barasat’s Sessions Court of North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal gave this order on Friday (June 21).

On May 23, Jihad was arrested from Bangaon in West Bengal by the CID of West Bengal State Police. On May 24, he was taken to Barasat Court for the first time. After that, the court ordered a total of 14 days CID custody for 2 rounds. After CID remand, when he was taken to court on June 7, the judge ordered 14 days of jail custody in the first phase. At the end of that period, the court again ordered a 14-day jail custody on Friday.

However, the accused Jihad Howladar did not appear in court that day. He is currently lodged in Dum Dum Central Jail. From there, Chief Judicial Magistrate Shuvankar Biswas heard the statement of the accused on video conference and fixed the date of next appearance. In that case, he will be brought to court again on July 5.

Accused Jihad has been booked under four non-bailable sections – 364 (kidnapping with intent to murder), 302 (culpable homicide), 201 (tampering with evidence) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) – of the Indian Penal Code.

It is to be noted that on May 13, MP Anar was murdered in Sanjiva Garden in Newtown. It is known that the murder was done on the orders of Akhtaruzzaman Shaheen, a US citizen of Bangladesh origin, who planned the murder.

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Despite ban, Turkish goods are going to Israel



International Des, Barta24.com
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Turkey imposed a ban on all trade with Israel. The announcement was made by the country's Ministry of Commerce last May citing the "further deterioration of the humanitarian situation" in the besieged Gaza Strip. However, despite the ban, Turkish goods are going to Israel through third countries this month.

This information was published in a report of Middle East Eye on Thursday (June 20).

According to the report, Turkish goods have been reaching Israel through Greece and other nearby countries since the beginning of May, despite the trade embargo.

According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, Israel imported 116 million US dollars worth of goods from Turkey last May which is 69 percent less than May last year. But Turkey's export agency claims only 4 million US dollars worth of goods went to Israel in May which is 99 percent less than last May.

However, a permanent ceasefire has not yet been established in Gaza. In the meantime, Turkey is sending goods to Israel even after announcing the imposition of a complete trade embargo on Israel.

However, a trade official claimed that most of the goods that Israel ordered before Turkey imposed the trade embargo are now going to Israel via Greece.

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