Abrahamic Accords and India
By: Vinod Subramanian
In a US mediated deal, West Asia is all set to embrace Israel and this will have far-reaching
geopolitical ramifications not only in the region but the entire world.
India which considers this region to be a part of its extended neighbourhood is closely watching these developments which will impact its diaspora, energy security, and its economic fortunes.
In this article, let us explore this development and its impact on India.
Background of the deal
The creation of Israel which has its origins in the Balfour declaration has been opposed by the other Western nations and the Muslim world in general.
The state was created in the year 1948 and ever since, it has been fought four major wars with its immediate and extended neighbours. There have been numerous other minor conflicts.
Israeli diplomacy has been successful to a great extent. From a position of visceral hatred towards Israel to slowly recognizing them and working together, many nations in West Asia and North Africa (WANA).
It began with Egypt in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994. It then took 26 long years for the next state to grant recognition to Israel.
In August 2020, United Arab Emirates (UAE) became the third Arab state and first in the
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to recognize Israel. This was followed up by Bahrain in September 2020.
The US has played a critical role in bringing together these nations and securing its interests in WANA.
The stage had been set by major developments in the year 2019.
The Israeli PM visited Oman and a security conference in Warsaw saw the different countries attending the event under the leadership of the US.
Hence, it came as no surprise when these deals were announced.
Now, it is expected that more nations including Oman, Sudan, and Morocco amongst others may follow suit and recognize Israel.
The deal grants De Jure state recognition and the establishment of normal and peaceful diplomatic relationships between Israel and these nations.
Israel on the other hand has agreed to eschew its expansion of territories which are considered to be a part of the West Bank in Palestine.
Following these developments, Israel and UAE have announced a formal dialogue to normalize their relations.
The two sides have established direct telephone connections, flight connectivity amongst others.
One major factor and the urgency which has led to this is the elephant in the room: Iran.
The changing security situation in the region has forced these nations to unite and normalize relations.
An aggressive Iran which is on the path of destruction doesn’t bode well for the prosperity of the region.
However, one major drawback in this entire matter is the issue of the rights of the Palestine people.
The two-state solution doesn’t find any mention in this deal and this is rightly being construed by many as a sort of betrayal of the Palestine people.
India and the deal
A turbulent West Asia is in no one’s interests and harms India.
With a diaspora of over 5 million people in these nations, India is concerned about any sort of instability which will impact the interest of its diaspora and also the economic interests.
India has over USD 100 Billion trade with just the six members of the GCC.
Over 70% of its energy requirements to are imported and nations in the region including Iran play a critical role in this regard.
This deal, we can see is both positive as well as dangerous. While nations become friendly with Israel, any sort of an anti-Iran alliance that is being built will only exacerbate the conflict and harm the nations.
Already, due to US pressure and the fear of Countering American Adversaries through sanctions Act (CAATSA), India has cut down its oil imports from Iran and other connectivity-related projects have been delayed due to which the ties between the two countries are fraught with tensions.
This conflict will only lead to further deterioration between India and Iran with the former being called upon to make more hard choices.
Options before India
Historically, India has always played an active role in shaping the outcomes of the world. This was a defining feature of Nehruvian diplomacy and the nation presently lacks a cohesive foreign policy document.
A lack of policy direction ensures that India only reacts to various issues and does not actively shape its outcomes.
India using its goodwill should be playing a more active role in bringing these two sides to the negotiating table.
As far as the Iranian issue is concerned, the criticality of Iran in terms of India’s strategic interests is well known.
It is beyond anyone’s comprehension as to why the government has surrendered its interests in this regard.
India has always valued its ‘strategic autonomy’. It is time to reaffirm it once again.
*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.
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