Ques. Examine the significance of QUAD in West Asia and its implications for India.
- QUAD is an informal strategic forum for dialogue comprising four nations, namely — United States of America (USA), India, Australia and Japan. One of the primary objectives of the Quad is to contain china and to work for a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
- According to Rajeswari Rajagopalan, after the QUAD has taken a firmer footing, a second QUAD is in the making. The recent meeting between India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States points to the possibility of such a new quad. This new West Asian quad stands significant and has far reaching implications for India.
- First, it is a clear recognition that the US is now actively involved in responding to China in multiple regions. US has not only deepened the Indo Pacific Quad, but also established AUKUS.
- Second, India joining this new Middle Eastern quad is a recognition that New Delhi also understands that the China challenge has to be met not only to India’s north and east but also toward India’s west.
- Third, both India and the U.S. now recognize that they need each other to meet these China challenges. This is more of a departure for India, but clearly India also recognizes that the United States is needed to anchor any effort to counter China’s spreading influence.
- Fourth, both Quads in the Indo-Pacific and in the Middle East – are a reflection of the understanding that the China challenge is not just a military one but a far broader matter including political and economic aspects.
- Fifth, India and the U.S. enjoy good bilateral relations with both Israel and the UAE, which was a necessary facet for building a Middle Eastern quad. Also, both are emerging technology powers in their own right and the Abraham Accords brought these nations together.
- According to C. Rajamohan, West Asian Quad suggests that Delhi is now ready to move from bilateral relations conducted in separate silos towards an integrated regional policy. India is moving beyond trade in the middle east and this success will open the door for extending the collaboration with other common regional partners like Egypt, who will lend great strategic depth to the ‘New Quad.’
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