[Answered] Elucidate on the abiding principles that have shaped India’s foreign policy towards the Middle East. Analyze the relevance of these principles in the contemporary geopolitical scenario.

Introduction: Give brief context to the question

Body: What are key principles that have shaped foreign policy in Middle East.

Conclusion: Way forward

Over the years, India’s foreign policy in the Middle East has been influenced by several guiding concepts that represent its strategic, economic, and historical interests. These tenets have changed throughout time to reflect the shifting geopolitical environment.

Key principles that have guided India’s foreign policy towards the Middle East

  • Non-Alignment: India has long followed a non-alignment strategy to stay out of military alliances and conflicts. This idea has made it possible for India to keep diplomatic ties with countries in the Middle East even if such countries support powerful countries like Russia or the United States.
  • Economic Engagement: India’s Middle East policy has always been based on strong economic relations. India derives substantial energy resources from this region, and the Middle East is an important market for Indian products and services. India has made an effort to expand economic ties, diversify its energy supplies, and encourage investments in the Middle East.
  • Diaspora and Cultural Ties: India has a substantial diaspora in the Middle East that is integral to the region’s social and economic fabric. India’s involvement with the Middle East has consistently emphasized the development of cultural and people-to-people relations.
  • Counterterrorism and Security: India is keenly interested in preserving regional security, particularly in light of the Middle East’s high rate of terrorism. India has shared intelligence and worked together with nations in the Middle East to combat terrorism. An additional security worry is the well-being of Indian nationals employed in the area.

Relevance in the Contemporary Geopolitical Scenario

  • Soft Power and Diplomacy: The use of soft power and cultural diplomacy continues to be effective in building goodwill and trust with Middle Eastern nations. Diplomatic engagement remains a central tool for advancing India’s foreign policy objectives in the region.
  • Economic Engagement: The Middle East continues to be a growing market for Indian exports and a destination for Indian labor. India’s economic interests in the region are set to expand, making economic engagement a continued priority.
  • Balancing Act: Balancing relationships with multiple Middle Eastern nations becomes more challenging as regional rivalries and conflicts persist. India’s ability to manage its relationships and interests in the region remains crucial.
  • Energy Security: India’s dependence on Middle Eastern oil and gas remains significant. Ensuring a stable and diversified energy supply from the region is essential for India’s economic growth and energy security.

Conclusion

India’s actions in the Middle East remain guided by its foreign policy fundamentals, which are of utmost significance. The aforementioned concepts have demonstrated flexibility and evolution in response to the dynamic and ever-changing geopolitical possibilities and challenges in the Middle East.

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