Discuss the factors that have pushed India to adopt a multi-directional approach for its West Asia policy.

Published: April 28, 2018

India has a unique advantage in west Asia. It has good rapport with all the west Asian countries. India’s relation with one is not perceived as a threat by a rival power in the region. This is due to the fact that India has a multidirectional approach in West Asia. The multi directional approach is driven by:

  • Dehyphenating Israel and Palestine: India has an historic commitment towards the cause of Palestine. Of late India has strengthened its relations with Israel. In the pursuit of protecting India’s interest India has dehyphenated the issue of Israel and Palestine.
  • Political tussle: The political tussle like the recent one of Saudis against Yemen is creating instability in the region. In the arena of instability India is striving to achieve a balance to avoid getting tangled in the conflict.
  • Israel-Saudi-Iran Trinity: India’s west Asian policy is driven by the motto of achieving a fine balance between the trinity of Israel-Saudi-Iran so not to agonise the other.
  • Energy Security: West Asia is the key energy partner for India. The multidirectional approach towards west is necessary to protect its energy security.
  • Remittance and Diaspora: West Asia is an important source of remittance for India as it houses one of the largest Indian Diaspora. Multi-directional approach for its West Asia is in line to protect the interests of Indian Diaspora.
  • Countering Radicalism: West Asia is also region of instability with threats emanating from here challenging the peace and stability of the world. India has a sizable minority population. India needs to have a balanced approach in the issue of religion in west Asia as it will have domestic repercussions.
  • Gateway: West Asia can be India’s gateway for Eurasia. Multi-directional approach for its West Asia policy is a necessity in this regard.

As India looks west, west Asia is looking east to address the new challenges after intent of US to redesign its role in the region after President Trump assuming the office. This provides with an opportunity for India to increase its footprint economically, strategically and politically in the region.

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