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‘IMEC Is Harebrained But India-Saudi Ties Can Only Grow Closer’

NEW DELHI: The India-Middle East-Europe transport corridor is a harebrained scheme being driven by the US to shore up its fading presence in West Asia, says Talmiz Ahmad, former ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Answering questions on The Gist over the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, Ambassador Ahmad argues that India is already well connected to the region by air and shipping lines, and much of the rail network that the corridor talks of building is already there. The Saudis may use the negotiations on the corridor to secure certain concessions from the US. India-Saudi relations are underpinned by energy, the former being a major buyer of the latter’s oil and gas, Ahmad pointed out. The latter are major investors in India and are positioning themselves for the future when India transitions to hydrogen. In his view, India needs to fashion a more ‘regional’ approach to the Gulf states, and now build on maritime security as a major element of the relationship. Tune in for more in this conversation with Ambassador Talmiz Ahmad.

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