Reading Time: 9 mins India, for a long time, had significantly profited from its close ties with Israel and little was done to acknowledge it. However, after the 2017 visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there is a significant breakthrough in the relationship, enhancing the scope of the ties. Subsequently, India has made significant steps in forging a precarious, yet necessary balance in the Middle East, ensuring that the economic and security interests are not threatened.
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To India, the Persian Gulf plays a vital role in its economy as it supplies nearly two-thirds of India’s total oil import. The bilateral trade with the nations present in this region is also flourishing in recent years. Over the years, millions of Indians have also migrated to the Persian Gulf region in search of jobs and they account for a sizable share in the total remittance received from abroad. Indian External Affairs Ministry refers to this region as West Asia and not as the Middle East which is a more popular attribution in Western countries. India’s policy in West Asia has, in recent times, have become highly cordial despite the numerous differences between various nations within this region. This is because of India’s neutral and flexible approach while interacting with these nations. However, it still faces challenges due to the external influences from major powers like the US. India’s Look West Policy has been enhanced to deal with this complicated issue. This policy has enabled India to maintain strategic autonomy while also pursuing its economic interests.
Reading Time: 5 mins 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.
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In recent times, the Israel-India diplomatic relationship is growing exponentially. With this in mind, many feel that there may be a change in India’s policy towards Israel-Palestine issue.
Historically, India has openly supported the Palestinian cause. However, under the present government, India’s open support to Palestine has diminished as it was mentioned only a very few times.
Though this may not mean that India has entirely changed its traditional position, it is evident that India is becoming increasingly neutral in the Israel-Palestine issue.
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The US government under President Donald Trump had made an unprecedented move by recognizing Golan Heights as a part of Israel. This move was condemned by many countries as well as the international community. This is because the Golan Heights was captured by Israel from Syria during the Six-Day War in 1967. The Golan Heights is highly vital for Syria and Israel, both economically and strategically.
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The strait of Hormuz plays a vital geopolitical role to the point where the US Fifth Fleet guards this strait. But during the recent days, Iran has threatened the safe passage of oil tankers in this strait in response to the crippling unilateral sanctions placed on its economy by the Trump Administration.
Reading Time: 5 mins Recently, Indian firm “India Ports Global Limited” took over operations at the Shahid Behesti Port in Chabahar, Iran. The representative of India, Iran, and Afghanistan met and finalized the routes for trade and transit corridors between the three nations. An event has also been planned on February 26, 2019, to promote and popularise the potential of Chabahar port.
Reading Time: 5 mins The United States has broadly agreed to grant India and 7 other countries a waiver from the sanctions it re-imposed on Iran recently. This decision provides some temporary relief to India and avoids any major oil price shocks.