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5th West Asia Conference - India’s Approach to West Asia: Trends, Challenges and Possibilities

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  • March 29, 2022 to March 30, 2022
    Only by Invitation

    Live Streaming : DAY TWO

    Live Streaming : DAY ONE

    Executive Summary

    The Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA), New Delhi, organised its 5th biennial West Asia Conference on March 29-30, 2022, in virtual mode. Speakers from India and abroad participated in the Conference and shared their perspectives on the changing contours of India’s growing engagement with the West Asian region, response of the countries of the region towards India’s policy, geopolitics and security situation in West Asia, challenges for the Indian community in the Gulf during Covid-19 pandemic, issues of energy security, and strategic and security cooperation between India and the region.

    The West Asian region continues to remain in a state of flux even after a decade of the Arab unrest. The situation in Syria, Yemen and Libya remains fluid. A number of terrorist organisations and non-state actors continue to challenge the security and stability in West Asia. The recent Houthi attacks on the critical infrastructures in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are a major cause of insecurity in the Gulf region. The uncertainty over the ongoing Vienna talks to revive the Iranian nuclear deal, Israel’s growing engagement with the Arab countries after the signing of the Abraham Accords and perceived weakening of US presence in the region are some of the key geopolitical dynamics which will have severe implications for the region.

    In such critical circumstances, India faces a number of challenges to engage with the countries of the region. India shares historical relations with West Asia; and has huge economic, energy, political, security and strategic stakes in the region. In recent years India has strengthened defence, security and strategic ties with a number of countries in the region. India’s security relations with the Gulf countries go beyond energy and diaspora security and there is an interest from both sides in expanding defence relations. While, during the last decade, the Arab unrest brought considerable challenges to India’s policy in the region, India has persevered in its engagements, successfully navigating the turbulence in the Arab world. While the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected the nine million strong Indian community in the Gulf, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to the Gulf leaders appealing to them to look after the Indians who are affected by the pandemic. Finally, it was suggested by the participants that, amid the changing regional and great-power geopolitics, India needs to enhance its engagement as a reliable partner for the key regional actors in West Asia.

    Conference Coordinator:

    Dr. Prasanta Kumar Pradhan
    Associate Fellow, IDSA