Enumerate the challenges India is facing in Middle East. How these challenges can be tackled?

Published: June 12, 2019

There are a number of challenges that plague the Middle East region and have caused significant upheaval in recent years. Middle East basically consists of critical players namely, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Iran in the Persian Gulf region, and Israel.
Challenges in the Middle East:

  • Horrific rise of the Islamic State: The spill-over effects of IS to other countries in the region and the spread of extremism to other parts of the world are also of grave concern
  • Repercussions of the Arab Spring: The effects of Arab Spring are still being felt in the region with Syria and Yemen on the brink of civil war
  • Intra-Gulf crisis over Qatar: The ongoing intra-Gulf crisis over Qatar does not serve India�s interest.�Given its economic, political, energy and expatriate links, an early resolution of the Saudi-Qatari standoff is in India�s interest
  • Iran�s nuclear aspirations: The Arab states are greatly wary of Iran�s nuclear aspirations and its increasing involvement in the Arab world�s conflicts through proxy wars

There is an urgent need for India to modify its foreign policy towards Middle East countries to reap the benefits. The following steps must be taken:

  • Minimize the bureaucratic cobwebs and enable the flow of investments from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, which have committed to invest up to US$ 75 and 100 billion, respectively, in India
  • Given its economic, political, energy and expatriate links, an early resolution of the Saudi-Qatari standoff is in India�s interest
  • India will have to expand its trade basket and move into investment projects with the Gulf Arab countries
  • India should expand its presence in the Israeli economy and technology market through selective but aggressive investments aimed at technology acquisition
  • A robust cyber security cooperation with Israel should be explored

�The Middle East has always been of strategic importance to India with roughly seven million Indians residing in the region and the Gulf supplying nearly two-thirds of India�s oil and gas. A pro-active Indian approach to the Middle East and its problems�is the need of the hour.

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