GS Paper 2
Syllabus: International Relations
Direction: The article is a long one. Many extra points have been added which was not covered in the article. Go through it once. Note down only if you find the points to be unique.
Source: Indian Express
Context: It has been two years of the Abraham Accords. It has helped not only the member nations but has also provided various benefits to India as well. The editorial article highlights the importance of the Abraham Accords.
Mohammed Soliman, An Egyptian scholar, was the first to propound the idea of the “Indo-Abrahamic Accord” and its trans-regional implications to the west of India. The first meeting between the foreign ministers of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States is being widely called as a new QUAD or QUAD of the Middle East on the lines of the Abraham Accord.
Fig: Mohammed Soliman- the grand strategist behind the West -Asia Quad concept
What is Abraham Accord:
- Brokered by the USA, Abraham Accord is a normalization agreement between UAE and Israel to establish formal diplomatic relations, later joined by Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco and in exchange Israel would suspend its plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank, thereby becoming the first Gulf country to establish diplomatic and economic relations with Israel.
- UAE becomes the third Arab nation to recognize Israel after Egypt (in 1979) and Jordan (1994)
Rising importance of the Middle East region for India:
- Energy Security:
- The Middle- East region plays a significant role in India’s economy, as it provides about two-thirds of India’s total oil imports.
- Millions of Indian migrants have been moved to search for jobs in the Middle-Eastern Countries becoming a significant part of the total remittance received from out of the country.
- Strategic Region :
- The Persian Gulf is a very important zone for India’s maritime security, and the Strait of Hormuz is a strategic point.
- Rising FDI from this region:
- Saudi is planning investments in India worth $100 billion. Other countries have also shown interest in investment in India.
- Countering Pakistan:
- Pakistan is very active in Middle-east. Using the platform of OIC and making connections with particular Arab countries like Turkey Pakistan is trying to get support on the Kashmir issue and blocking India to get support in NSG. Thus, by conducting sophisticated balance-of-power diplomacy, India is trying to counter Pakistani influence in the Gulf region.
- Defence Imports:
- Israel has been very important to India due to its technical, intelligence, and military support. Israel has been one of the major military equipment providers in India and also an important trading partner.
- Security Challenge :
- Rising terrorism in this region has a direct and indirect impact on India.
- Energy Security:
Significance of Abraham Accord for India:
- Economic Cooperation:
- The discovery of new hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean, has renewed territorial disputes between Turkey and Greece, and the Turkish quest for regional dominance has drawn Greece and the UAE closer thereby paving way for India’s participation in the region.
- Regional connectivity:Abraham Accords have improved the regional connectivity between the member countries. This regional connectivity has also helped Indians.
- For example, the Indian diaspora in the Gulf can now fly directly from the UAE to Israel or from Israel to Bahrain.
- Technology cooperation:Beyond trade, there is potential for India, UAE, and Israel to collaborate in many areas — from space to defence technology.
- The only geopolitical entity in the region:The new “Quad” in the Middle East is likely to be India’s only new coalition in the region. The feasibility of a non-ideological engagement with the Middle East by bridging the Arab- Israeli rift.
- ‘Extended’ neighbourhood:This engagement will open the door for extending the collaboration with other regional partners like Egypt, having much more impact in the region.,
- Peace and Stability in West Asia: Agreement opens the doors to the first big rapprochement between traditional adversaries in West Asia—Israel and the Arab This would open new doors for India’s engagement in the region.
- Group formation:The Accords have helped in the formation of the I2U2 Group. This group is established by Israel, India, the UAE, and the United States.
- Economic Cooperation:
The opportunities for India to the west of the Subcontinent are as significant as those that have recently emerged in the east like QUAD, which has changed the way how India had transformed the way it thinks of “Indo-Pacific”, the notion of a “Greater Middle East” can provide myriad opportunities to India’s engagement with the extended neighbourhood to the west.
Q. The opportunities that are coming India’s way to the west of the Subcontinent are as consequential as those that have recently emerged in the east. Discuss the statement in the context of the Abraham Accord and its significance for India. (15M)