‘NATO must reach out to all countries like India': Spanish FM Albares

The Ministry of External Affairs said that Jaishankar and Albares welcomed signing of the defence contract as part of which Airbus Spain will supply 56 C295 aircraft, 40 of which would be Made in India, and agreed to further deepen defence and security cooperation

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, June 16, 2022, 10:01 AM IST
article-image
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar welcomes Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares in New Delhi | PTI

On Wednesday, as he concluded his trip to India, visiting Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), historically focused solely on the Russian threat to NATO's Eastern flank, must also look to the southern flank, and reach out to all those countries that like India, might be good partners, and interested in keeping stability in the world.

It may be noted that Spain, as a Southern European country, perceives major threats to its security from illegal immigrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the presence of transnational Jihadist groups in the Sahel.

In an exclusive interview to The Indian Express, Albares – who met External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar – when asked about possible discussions between India and the NATO, said, “It is not for me to decide, it is up to the UN Secretary General to decide that. But of course, a dialogue, certainly between NATO and India, is most welcome.”

While noting that the NATO summit is, above all, meant for NATO members, he added, “But of course, there is always space for partners and allies.”

The Ministry of External Affairs said that Jaishankar and Albares welcomed signing of the defence contract as part of which Airbus Spain will supply 56 C295 aircraft, 40 of which would be Made in India, and agreed to further deepen defence and security cooperation.

On India's position on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which has become something of an irritant in ties between New Delhi and the US-led alliance, Albares had this to say:

"I’m not going to tell any country since every country is sovereign. But I think we must all join forces today, to make sure that the war stops, that peace goes back to Ukraine, and that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine are respected. And I’m sure that all countries in the world must agree at least on that basis."

India - NATO ties

Then-U.S. NATO Ambassador Ivo H. Daalder has suggested that India should turn away from its non-aligned role and join NATO. A Voice of Russia analysis quoted Robert Pshel, head of NATO's Information Office in Moscow as saying "I agree with Mr Daalder that many modern threats are global, and tackling them without emerging powers like India is hardly possible."

Daalder further stated, "The dialogue should be on how India's concept of its own security and of international security fits in with NATO's concept of international security and how NATO as an actor and India as a country can work together to promote security."

While most members of the Indian strategic community readily admit that NATO's Afghanistan mission coincided with India's own strategic interest in stabilising that country, they did not necessarily conclude from this that India and NATO should develop closer cooperation.

After all, the NATO mission in Afghanistan ended in failure, and it was Indian security interests that were threatened as a result.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

'To save Indian democracy, opposition parties must be united in fight against BJP': Congress'...

'To save Indian democracy, opposition parties must be united in fight against BJP': Congress'...

Maharashtra: SC questions Sena's 'Cannot intervene' argument

Maharashtra: SC questions Sena's 'Cannot intervene' argument

Pune: IT professional arrested for repeatedly raping colleague

Pune: IT professional arrested for repeatedly raping colleague

Triple Talaq: Delhi High Court issues notice on woman's plea challenging its constitutionality

Triple Talaq: Delhi High Court issues notice on woman's plea challenging its constitutionality

Punjab Budget 2022-23: From health to education, here's a look at key announcements by the AAP...

Punjab Budget 2022-23: From health to education, here's a look at key announcements by the AAP...