What are the regional developments that have brought India and the Uni...
Dec 02, 2016
What are the regional developments that have brought India and the United Arab Emirates into a special strategic relationship?
Both geoeconomics and geopolitics have brought India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) closer. UAE is home to about 2.6 million Indians who have contributed to the local economy as well as to that of India through remittances. The visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE in August, strengthened the emerging strategic partnership between Delhi and Abu Dabhi. Geoeconomics has a play as India and UAE have emerged as each other's preferred economic partner. But the growing security and defence partnership is the result of geopolitics. The reasons for the two countries coming together are regional in nature: Pakistan's refusal to send troops to Yemen to fight Houthi rebels under the Saudi leadership incurred the UAE's displeasure. The common threat from the Islamic State, too, contributed. Concurrently , with India moving closer to Iran, especially after the nuclear deal with the US, made the UAE act fast to reap the benefits of its strategic location in the Persian Gulf and of its liberal investment policies. By deciding to elevate the India-UAE relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, a first between India and any Gulf country, New Delhi and Abu Dabhi will now coordinate efforts to counter radicalisation and the misuse of religion by groups and countries.