CNN—Steve George & Manveena Suri / As China concerns grow, India looks to build military presence in Seychelles
- India and the Seychelles have signed a revised agreement granting India permission to construct a military base on the Seychelles’ Assumption Island.
- India’s attempts to better secure its access to the region mirrors a similar strategy deployed by its neighbor and long-standing rival China.
- Gurpreet Khurana, executive director of India’s National Maritime Foundation: “India has a primary area in the northern Indian Ocean and the secondary is the Indo-Pacific region. We (India) have interests that we have to preserve. With the Chinese going into the Indian Ocean in a big way, our strategic interests are expanding as well, and this is the only way India will be able to preserve itself.”
- Arun Prakash, retired four-star admiral and former Indian naval chief: “(What India is building in the Seychelles) is a facility, not a military base. It has not been our policy to set up military bases on foreign soil … We were a colony for centuries, and after we became free, we do not want to do the same to another country. Setting up military bases is another form of colonialism.”
The New York Times—Steven Erlanger / U.S. Revives Concerns About European Defense Plans, Rattling NATO Allies
- At the Munich Security Conference, American officials raised new questions and doubts about the EU’s Permanent Structured Cooperation on Security and Defense (PESCO).
- American officials expressed concerns that PESCO could weaken NATO and cut out United States military manufacturers from bidding on certain European projects.
- “It’s important for Europeans to state again and again that this is not competition for NATO or an alternative to NATO,” said Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of NATO. “The E.U. cannot defend Europe by itself.”
- Daniel Flott, a defense expert with the European Union Institute for Security Studies, said that he was “surprised to hear the return to the language of duplication, which we thought we had put behind us.”
- R. Nicholas Burns, a former American ambassador to NATO now at Harvard, said, “It is a mistake for the U.S. to make this an issue.”
International Energy Agency / IEA marks historic day in global energy governance with first member country in Latin America
- Mexico officially became the International Energy Agency’s 30th member country on 17 February 2018, and its first member in Latin America.
- Mexico’s accession is a cornerstone of the IEA’s on-going modernization strategy, including “opening the doors” of the IEA to engage more deeply with emerging economies.
- Mexico is the world’s 15th-largest economy and 12th-largest oil producer, and has some of the world’s best renewable energy resources.
- The IEA Family of 30 Member countries and seven Association countries now accounts for more than 70% of global energy consumption, up from less than 40% in 2015.
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