How India has managed to create robust relations with Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran simultaneously? Indian foreign policy under PM Modi is at its very best even though his meeting with Saudi Crown Prince MBS invited some criticism.
Many world leaders and countries have distanced themselves from MBS who is embroiled in the murder case of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but India has taken it in its stride as the fastest growing economy. EurAsian Times attempts to decode the relations between India and Saudi Arabia.
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According to the OROF, New Delhi’s approach is seen as the idea of strategic autonomy based on the ideals of non-alignment. “While non-alignment itself is fast becoming an obsolete project for 21st century India, the balancing act it propagates, originally designed for the Cold War, works in Delhi’s favour. This allows India to have good relations with Saudi Arabia, Israel and Iran (these countries dislike each other but consider themselves key allies of New Delhi).”
Saudi Arabia has realized that it cannot depend on oil revenues for long, thus playing its cards right with India, China, South Korea and Japan and expanding into the sectors of manufacturing, IT, food security and services etc.
Moreover, a stable Saudi Arabia is imperative to every section of Indian interests in the region – from economy to demography. A robust and equivalent economic partnership with the Kingdom augers well for both India’s economy and by association, foreign policy. It cannot be overlooked that India-Saudi Arabia relations have been of mutual understanding.
“Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE have over the past two years deported people wanted by New Delhi, including men related with groups such as Pakistan backed Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Indian origin sympathizers of the ISIS and so on.”
Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with MBS was a continuation of Indian foreign policy’s natural trajectory in West Asia. Besides, trade partnership between India and Saudi Arabia have never been stronger, with Saudi Airlines inaugurating a new office in New Delhi in February 2018, and Saudi Basic Industries Corp eyeing a major stake in a petrochemicals plant in western India.
And Saudi Arabia and the UAE seem to be accelerating their strategic ties with India simultaneously. Both countries have long hosted millions of Indian expatriates, from construction workers to senior executives; both countries have long sold significant quantities of oil to India. The moves that have been made in the recent past suggest that a more strategic relationship is brewing.
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