The second Quad ? [ GS II, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS]

CONTEXT:- The foreign ministers of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the US held a virtual meeting on 18 October 2021, to boost cooperation and coordination.

INFORMATION AND DEVELOPMENTS : 

This meeting is a strong indication of West Asia’s geopolitical changes.

Though Israel and the UAE did not have formal diplomatic relations a year ago, their growing economic and strategic cooperation is opening up opportunities for other powers, including India.

  •  External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar with Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid has agreed to launch talks for a free trade agreement. 

  • The meeting also points to India’s strategic desire to adopt a regional foreign policy strategy towards West Asia.

INDIA’s POSITION TODAY- 

  • India has built vibrant bilateral ties with all the countries in the grouping.

  •  It is a member of the Quad (the U.S., Australia, India, Japan)

BENEFITS FROM THESE COUNTRIES TO INDIA:-

  • Israel is one of India’s top defence suppliers. 

  • The UAE is vital for India’s energy security.

  • The Gulf country, which hosts millions of Indian workers, has also shown interest to mediate between India and Pakistan.

In the past, India’s West Asia policy depended on —

  •  Iran

  •  Israel 

  •  The Sunni Gulf monarchies

After the Abraham Accords- The gulf between the Sunni kingdoms and Israel is narrowed down, the normalisation agreements (b/w Israel , UAE and Bahrain), has left fewer challenges with India w.r.t. a regionalist approach.

STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE GROUPING: 

 The grouping can focus on following areas to deepen its engagement-

  • To fight climate change 

  •  In Trade

  •  Regarding energy ties

  • To enhance maritime security 

challenges-

  • As part of its pivot to East Asia policy, to tackle China’s rise; The U.S. is going to minimize its footprint here, thus redrawing traditional equations of West Asia. Therefore, these changing circumstances will be a challenge for India.

  •  India should remain far away from conflicts of West Asia that could intensify amid growing regional rivalries.

  •  While the Abraham Accords made it easier for India to find common ground with the Israelis and the Emiratis, the differences between this emerging bloc and Iran remains severe.

  •  India, faces insecurities in Asia after the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. India has to work closely with countries like Iran to deal with the challenges emerging after the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

  • The Challenge before New Delhi is to retain a healthy relationship with Iran alongwith the strong regional partnership with the U.S.-UAE-Israel- bloc.

BY,

RAJEEV YADAV

FACULTY of GS and HISTORY-OPTIONAL

PLUTUS IAS

plutus ias daily current affairs 21 Oct 2021