In October 2021, the foreign ministers of 4 countries, i.e. India, Israel, the US and the UAE, concluded a virtual meeting. The meeting was held to form another Quad group in the Middle East. Why do they want another quad group when the first is already there? What are the specifications of this quad grouping? What is the involvement of India, and how will it affect her foreign relations? Is it essential for India to participate in it? Or, is India creating more terror and trauma for herself by participating in the new quad grouping? Let us understand the entire scenario and terms of the new quad grouping. We will also see the role of India in the quad grouping and its involvement. In the end, we will study the pros and cons of the involvement of India in the new quad grouping.
The first question is, why has India participated in another quad group when India is already a member of an existing quad relationship with the US, Japan and Australia. There was a need for another Quad group in the Middle East to meet the changes in West Asian geopolitics. Also, the existing quad grouping was responsible for relations and interests only of middle-east countries.
Now let us understand the reasons and factors that favoured the formation of a New Quad Grouping. The primary reasons are mentioned below:
The new quad formation is possible only because the UAE has tried to resolve its relationship with Israel for the first time in 26 years through the Abraham Accord. This grouping is only possible after the resumption of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE.
Growing Terror of China
The growing power and terror of China in Asia is also one of the major reasons. The main possible reason the US has decided to form such a group is to tackle China’s rise. The UD, under its “pivot to Asia policy”, has launched the Quad initiative, Indo pacific narrative. The US doesn’t want China to rule over Asia, taking essential efforts to tackle and limit its power.
To Tackle Turkey’s Regional Dominance
When the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed the leadership of the Islamic world, it has hurt the sentiments of other Islamic nations such as the UAE and Israel. Also, if supported by other countries, Turkey can be a challenge to the US and its power. So, it might be the diplomacy of the US to converge interests of India, the UAE and Israel towards Turkey to limit the latter’s dominance.
Fluctuating West Asian Geopolitics
The new change in West Asian geopolitics is also a reason for forming the new quad grouping.
The involvement of India in the new quad grouping reflects a shift in its foreign policy. Following are the stands of India as a member of the new quad grouping.
To Tackle Pakistan
Pakistan has supported Turkey in the previous few cases, including Turkey’s claim of an Islamic leader. Thus, by joining the new quad group, India has once again challenged Pakistan and its power.
Integrated Regional Policy
The involvement of India in a four-nation meeting suggests that India is now ready to move towards an integrated regional policy. It is a sign that India has now moved from bilateral relations conducted in separate silos.
A Shift in India’s West Asia Policy
Like after joining the Indo Pacific group. India was able to build policies and strengthen its relations with the Middle East. Similarly, the new quad formation will help her to extend her engagement with the neighbours of the west.
New and Deep Relations
The involvement of India in the new quad grouping has deepened her following existing relationships.
- It is a member of an existing quad group with the US, Japan and Australia. The meeting was held to share common concerns and interests in Middle East Asia.
- India has economic solid trade relations in defence weapons, technologies, and arms with Israel.
- The UAE supplies a pillar to India’s energy security. Also, millions of Indian citizens work in the UAE in oil fields and drills.
- Though a country is always needed to build its diplomatic relations with neighbouring or powerful nations, in the case of India, there are still many fields that are more important and require immediate actions. These strategic significance ties include trade, climate change, maritime security and energy ties.
- Also, India needs to understand not to build many relations to get stuck in West Asia conflicts. This can develop her rivalries with powerful nations like Turkey and China.
- After the withdrawal of America from Afghanistan, it is a challenge for India to be a member of the new quad grouping.
- Due to its insecurities in continental Asia, India has to maintain a healthy relationship with Iran, which will be difficult after having Israel in this quad group.
But overall, the decision is worthy for India to understand her west neighbourhood.