Shifting Strategic Sands In West Asia
NEW DELHI: “We’re here to stay,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said while inaugurating his country’s first embassy in the Gulf, in Abu Dhabi and then a consulate in Dubai in the highest-level visit by an Israeli official. The UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco normalised ties with Israel under former U.S. President Donald Trump’s ‘Abraham Accords’ last year. Israel and Arab capitals are also united in disquiet as the U.S. under President Joe Biden negotiates a possible re-entry into the 2015 nuclear pact between Iran and world powers. Trump quit the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2018 in a move backed by Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies. With crippling U.S. sanctions, Tehran, in March, signed a 25-year Comprehensive Security Partnership with China even as Beijing attempts to add to its traditional ties in the region and become a bigger arms exporter. India has accelerated its multi-dimensional engagement with countries in West Asia, some of whom are also looking to import the Brahmos supersonic missile. On ‘The Gist‘, Dr. Alvite Singh Ningthoujam, Assistant Professor at Symbiosis School of International Studies and Former Consultant at the Strategic Affairs Wing of the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) discusses the shifting geopolitical sands in West Asia with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.