India’s talks with NATO
GS Paper - 2 (International Relations)
New Delhi held its first political dialogue with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Brussels on 12 December 2019. The idea was to ensure the dialogue was primarily political in character, and to avoid making any commitment on military or other bilateral cooperation.
What is NATO?
- The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, or NATO, is a political and military alliance of 28 European countries and two countries in North America (United States and Canada).
- It was set up in 1949 by the US, Canada, and several western European nations to ensure their collective security against the Soviet Union. It was the US’s first peacetime military alliance outside the western hemisphere.
- Thirty countries are currently members of NATO, which is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The headquarters of the Allied Command Operations is near Mons, also in Belgium.
What is the significance of India’s talks with NATO?
- India’s talks with NATO hold significance given that the North Atlantic alliance has been engaging both China and Pakistan in bilateral dialogue.
- There was a view here that given the role of Beijing and Islamabad in New Delhi’s strategic imperatives, reaching out to NATO would add a key dimension to India’s growing engagement with the US and Europe.
- Until December 2019, NATO had held nine rounds of talks with Beijing, and the Chinese Ambassador in Brussels and NATO’s Deputy Secretary General engaged with each other every quarter.
- NATO had also been in political dialogue and military cooperation with Pakistan; it opened selective training for Pakistani officers and its military delegation visited Pakistan in November 2019 for military staff talks.