India and The Gulf countries

India and The Gulf countries

News: This article is based on C Raja Mohans article, “In closer ties with the Gulf, a significant win for Indian diplomacy” which was recently published in “Indian Express”.

Background:
• PM Modi recently visited the UAE for inauguration of BAPS Mandir and from there he visited Qatar.

India’s recent achievements in the Gulf:
• Inauguration of the BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi: A large Hindu temple would be built in the deeply Islamic and conservative Arabian Peninsula with full state support.
• Release of 8 Indian ex-naval personnel by Qatar is one of significant diplomatic victory for India.

What are the crucial factors behind the transformation of India-Gulf relations?
• Diplomatic Efforts: In the last decade, the Prime Minister of India has made numerous visits to the Middle East, which has significantly contributed to strengthening the ties.
• Political Domain: The establishment of the I2U2 group in 2022 — with India, Israel, the US, and the UAE — and the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor underline the radical reorientation of Indias geopolitical engagement with the Middle East.
• Economic Growth: India’s economic growth has changed the perceptions of the Gulf countries.
• Strategic Transformation: Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014, Indis foreign policy has undergone a strategic transformation. The country has transitioned from strict non-alignment to building stronger relationships with major and middle-sized powers globally.
• Defence Collaboration: The Gulf countries are trying to diversify their defence partnerships amid the shifting regional geopolitics and are looking to India to act as a regional security provider. The scale and scope of India’s military exchanges with the Gulf have grown.
• Indian Diaspora: The Indian diaspora in the Gulf region has played a pivotal role in the transformation of India-GCC relations. They have not only contributed to the socioeconomic development of the Gulf countries but have also significantly influenced India-Gulf relations. 

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