Prince Salman’s accession to the throne after the death of Saudi King Abdullah on 23 January 2015 has been a game changer, both domestically and in West Asian politics. Within days, he sidelined rivals within the House of Saud, and took on Iran with a confrontational policy. But two years later, the results of his new strategy disappoint
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The West Asian monarchies are being forced to ‘look East’ due to a range of factors: the rise of the Islamic State, their need to boost falling oil revenues and doubts about the United States continuing to remain a guarantor of regional stability. Quite coterminously, India is looking towards the Gulf for energy security besides fulfilling other geostrategic goals: this is an ‘East’ and ‘West’ where the ‘twain will meet
The choice of the Crown Prince of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to be the chief guest at India’s 2017 Republic Day celebrations is an indication of the enhanced attention that the Indian government is according the Gulf countries. Many trade interests ally India to the UAE, but a deeper engagement is called for even as instability grows in the region
Aleppo is back under the control of the Syrian government, the Russian ambassador to Ankara is assassinated for his country’s role in Syria, and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump wants to cooperate with Russia to fight ISIS in Syria. These momentous events in modern history compel an assessment of the geopolitics surrounding Syria.
OPEC’s announcement of a cut in oil production shows that Saudi Arabia is being affected by low oil prices even as Iran gains ground
A month after visiting Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Modi will visit Iran on 22 May. India's careful balancing of relations with competing parties in West Asia has let it remain a friend to all. But to play a role commensurate with its global vision, India must work on becoming more than a friend and instead be an indispensable partner to countries in the region.
The talking points for Prime Minister Modi's upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia will include the obvious: oil, diaspora and economic engagement. What remains to be seen is how both countries differing relations with Iran and Pakistan might affect the dialogue.
By executing an influential Shia cleric among 47 other prisoners, Saudi Arabia has increased the possibility of prolonging conflict in West Asia. The country’s actions have stirred up its differences with Iran, thereby diminishing the possibility of finding political solutions to the civil wars in Syria and Yemen.
On 14 December, Saudi Arabia announced the formation of an anti-terrorism coalition of 34 Islamic countries. But with key potential partners such as Algeria, Lebanon, and Pakistan refusing to join, the hastily-assembled group has put Saudi credibility in the spotlight instead of deflecting western criticism of the kingdom’s inaction against Sunni jihadism
Today ISIS is the gravest international security threat. To defeat ISIS, the world should pay heed to India’s experience of the need to isolate state sponsors of terrorism. Ultimately, only when Saudi Arabia acknowledges the danger to its own survival from past policies of alleged support to extremist groups, can it be a reliable partner in the fight against ISIS.