The restoration of diplomatic ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia marks the end of a seven-year marathon of indirect confrontations and impasses involving a broad spectrum of actors. It allows both to harvest economic and political benefits. Most importantly, it confirms China’s status as a significant power with influence to unlock broad and complex international agreements.
India’s foreign policy is increasingly blended in with its domestic agenda – and vice versa. Prime Minister Modi’s past proactive foreign policy has paid dividends in bringing global attention to India, a fact young voters have noticed and approved. In his second term, what will India’s foreign policy look like? A continuum of the past, but also new frameworks for the future
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
Despite the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action having been in effect since January 2016, the promised business opportunities for Iran seem to have eluded them, as U.S. led economic sanctions still hold firm. With Prime Minister Modi’s upcoming visit in May, there is ample scope to redouble the India-Iran partnership for the strategic interest of both parties.
The unfolding coup in Turkey demonstrates the instability that the nation has fallen into. Terror attacks like the one in Istanbul airport was the most high profile targeting of Turkey by ISIS and other extremists. This is the outcome of Turkey’s crackdown on internal popular protest, on allowing itself to become the highway for extremists, refugees and weapons to disparate terrorist groups and being a willing proxy for the major powers contending in Syria. The increasing frequency of the attacks in Turkey reveals a similar pathology to Pakistan, which is now in a low-grade civil war. Is Turkey going down the path of Pakistan?
Iran's nuclear deal deadline is looming large, and sparks are already flying. While there is opposition to the deal from Israel, within Iran there are powerful interest groups driven by ideology and business interests, who are doing as much as possible to prevent a deal from being reached
The JCPA between Iran and the P5+1 countries is being welcomed positively in Iran. President Rouhani was elected in 2013 on a platform to to improve Iran's relations with the world and majority of Iranians wait anxiously for the improved socio-economic benefits that will follow
Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya'alon’s recent offer of defence technology for Prime Minister Modi’s Make in India initiative may signal expanding bilateral relations, and it is an opportune moment for the two countries to consolidate long-term common ground in areas such as counter-intelligence and naval cooperation
The rise of the militant ISIS will alter the stability and future of all West Asian countries, and can impact India in multiple ways. India must re-evaluate its West Asia policy, and address the safety of its nationals in Iraq, the security of its oil supplies, and the fallout on South Asia of this resurgence of strife