West Asia

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  • Nagaraj Kanaganahalli asked: Who are Houthis? What role do they play in the Yemen war? How significant is Yemen in West Asian politics?

    Prasanta Kumar Pradhan replies: Houthis are an armed rebel group belonging to the Zaidi Shia sect fighting against the government of Yemen. Traditionally, the Houthis have been concentrated in the northwestern Saada Province of Yemen. In 2015, they captured capital Sanaa, thereby forcing President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia. Upon the request of President Hadi, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia was formed to intervene in Yemen.

    Beijing’s Soft Diplomacy in West Asia in Times of COVID-19

    China’s soft diplomacy in West Asia, particularly in times of pandemic, is a way to improve its global image and recast itself as a responsible actor at relatively low cost, rather than a sign of any deeper commitment towards the region.

    July 03, 2020

    COVID-19 in Non-GCC Countries: An Overview

    The pandemic continues to amplify the crisis in West Asia, making it hard for governments to cope with it individually. In the absence of a coordinated effort at the regional level, the road to economic recovery will be long and uneven.

    May 29, 2020

    COVID-19 and GCC Countries

    As the COVID-19 cases continue to rise, the key priorities for the GCC countries are to contain the spread of the pandemic, maintain the flow of trade across their borders and preserve their economies from adverse impacts.

    April 16, 2020

    Suchak Patel asked: What is the footprint of Iran's Quds Force in West Asia and the global theatre, and the ethical or political perspective to list it as a terrorist organisation?

    Adil Rasheed replies: For the Islamic Republic of Iran to have named its elite offshore military force ‘al-Quds’, which is the Arabic name for Jerusalem, is understandably disconcerting for the United States (US) and Israel as it clearly points to Iran’s extra-territorial military ambition of “liberating” Islam’s third holiest city from the Zionist state.

    The West Asian Crisis and Oil Price Expectations

    As concerns over a potential conflict in the region grow, the pressing issue of what a conflict would mean for the price of international crude oil needs to be addressed urgently.

    July 04, 2019

    MBS Visit Strengthens the Indo-Saudi Strategic Partnership

    The key focus areas during the visit of MBS to India were terrorism, investment, energy, skill development, security and Indian diaspora in Saudi Arabia.

    March 05, 2019

    Abhinav asked: How can India help transform its unskilled diaspora in West Asia into a skilled force for the mutual benefit of all the three i.e. the host nation, India & the diaspora?

    Reply: West Asia, especially the Gulf region, is host to almost nine million Indians, who are working not only for their livelihood but are also contributing towards the economic growth of their respective host countries.

    Election Results Consolidate Erdogan’s Power

    The election results for the parliamentary and presidential elections, held on June 24, 2018 have not thrown any surprises. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have emerged victorious with significant margins, even though Erdogan would have preferred a more thumping win. The elections that were due in November 2019 were preponed with the idea that Turkey needs a stable polity with a presidential system and that it cannot wait for another year and half to see the implementation of the shift from parliamentary to presidential system.

    Chinmaya asked: What is Palestine’s economic and strategic standing in West Asia?

    Md. Muddassir Quamar replies: With time, the Palestinian issue has lost some of its strategic importance. Historically, the question of Palestine occupied centrality in West Asian politics and was the primary issue during the heydays of Pan-Arabism in the 1950s and 1960s. The Arab defeat in 1967 significantly changed the regional geopolitical dynamics. The 1978 Camp David Accords and the subsequent signing of a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt in 1979 resulted in Palestine losing an important regional supporter.

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