After three and a half years of tensions and blockades, the GCC had come together to reconcile and sign the Solidarity and Stability Agreement. The stability of this West Asian grouping holds significance for India as a major trading partner.
India-UAE relationship can be seen as a bond built for the ages. Starting the diplomatic relations in 1972, both the countries enjoy strong bonds of friendship based on age-old cultural, religious and economic ties between the two nations. Recently, India held a joint commission meeting with UAE on trade, discussed regional, international developments. The Indian side invited further investments from the UAE in key sectors of the Indian economy, such as infrastructure, including logistics, food parks, highways, ports, airports, renewable energy and defence. Moreover, India has welcomed full normalization of ties between the UAE and Israel through the Abraham Accord last month.
Recently Pakistan has reaffirmed the strength of its relations with Saudi Arabia after a diplomatic spat sparked by apparent inaction by the Gulf kingdom on the issue of Kashmir and also threatened to derail what has been one of the South Asian country’s strongest alliances in the region. The long-time allies seem like drifting apart, with Saudi who prefers to build ties with India instead of criticizing it over Kashmir.
The relations between Greek and Turkish states have been marked by alternating periods of mutual hostility and reconciliation ever since Greece became independent from the Ottoman Empire in 1830. The two NATO allies’ relations are currently marred by increasing military presence of both countries at the Eastern Mediterranean, where both claim oil-and-gas exploration rights.
India is among the largest contributors of expatriates across the globe. Majority of these Indian expats are located in Gulf countries, which have the largest portion of foreign workers within their territories. With the protectionist sentiments running high, there has been a mass exodus of expats from various parts of the world into the country, especially from the Gulf region, reducing the remittance inflow and increasing stress on the already suffering Indian economy. Yet, these can be seen as a blessing in disguise as it provides the opportunity for India to make use of this highly skilled workforce to achieve economic development and self-reliance.
The Beirut explosion has triggered widespread public anger in Lebanon leading to violent protests and resignation of the government. The explosion is one of the worst in several years and has resulted in casualties in a time when the healthcare system is stressed to its limits. In the context of such an incident, there is a need to look at India’s preparedness to handle a disaster on such a scale.
Israel and the UAE have struck a peace deal to normalise the bilateral ties, with Israel agreeing to suspend its plans to annex West Bank temporarily. This historic agreement is criticised for not addressing the Israel-Palestine issue. However, it created a major geostrategic shift in the Middle East, benefiting countries like India and the US.
The historic deal by the OPEC+ countries to reduce oil productions to stabilise prices and address the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 did not help the member countries. This shows the vulnerability of oil-exporting countries during the economic crisis. This situation is worsened by the differences among the OPEC countries, which are exacerbated by the internal political crisis and also diplomatic tensions within and outside the region.
Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, is currently facing a devastating civil war that has caused thousands of deaths and has displaced millions within its territory.
According to the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the “severity of needs” is worsening. The situation in Yemen is worse than last year when it was already the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
Now, the diplomatic tensions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE have worsened the situation in Yemen. The UAE was accused of funding separatists in Yemen. The UAE government denied these allegations.
However, with the Saudi-led led coalition fighting amongst each other and the separatists taking control of many key provinces in Yemen, the conflict is getting worse than ever.