UAE-Israel peace deal: Opportunity for India to acquire a greater role in this strategic backyard
In the middle of a pandemic, the geopo itics of the world’s most troubled region took a historic turn this week, when the UAE and Israel, under the benevolent gaze of US Presi nt Donald Trump, signed an agreement to “normalise” relations. The deal opens up new opportunities for India to play a much larger role in the regional security and stability in the Gulf, where New Delhi enjoys special relations with both Abu Dhabi and Jerusalem.
The barebones of the deal envisages establishing regular diplomatic relations between the UAE, the rising influential power in the Gulf, and Israel, the “Incredible Hulk” of the region, but a country offi ally not on speaking terms with most of its Arab neighbours.
In his first tweet, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed said: ‘During a call with Presi nt Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu, an agreement was reached to stop further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territories. The UAE and Israel also agreed to cooperation and setting a roadmap towards establishing a bilateral relationship.”
In return, Israel agreed to “suspend” its annexation plans for West Bank that would have been deeply destabilising. Benjamin Netanyahu gets a diplomatic victory, which may be short-lived, given the nature of Israeli po itics. But Israel gets a diplomatic and economic opening with the big power in the Gulf, that could open other doors, give its security interests legitimacy and, perhaps, open the door to Middle East peace.
Many of the other Arab powers, such as Oman, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan, apart from the big global powers, and India, have welcomed the deal. Iran has s mmed it, as have Turkey and Syria. Saudi Arabia has been very quiet.
Given the close ties between Mohammed bin Zayed and Mohammed bin Salman, it is unthinkable that KSA was not consulted, particularly when the US is the third pole in this agreement. The deal gives UAE pole position as the premier Gulf Arab power, with diplomatic leverage with Israel and the US. “This deal is about positioning in Washington, DC,” said James Dorsey, Gulf and Middle East expert.
The deal has been a while in the making, said Navdeep Suri, former Indian envoy to the UAE. Several proposals have been made in the past couple of years. The Israeli minister of culture visited Abu Dhabi and wre a message in Hebrew in the visitors’ book at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mo e. That was a sign. In June, Yousef Al Otaiba, MBZ’s close adviser and UAE ambassador to Washington, wre an oped in Hebrew in the Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, offering normalisation in return for shelving annexation.
Trump earns a diplomatic feather before the November ions, and this may bump up some of his flagging support among the Jews. Even Joe Biden has welcomed the deal. And with Trump asking allies to step up on burden-sharing, it gives UAE and Israel an opening to become bigger players.
As Dorsey observes, the UAE and Israel regard Biden warily — after all, Ob was terrible for both countries’ interests — and may prefer a return of Trump. In the region, concerns about Iran is an obvious starting point for UAE and Israel. Iran has been the reason for a quiet thaw between Saudi Arabia and Israel in recent years as well. Israel takes a very hardline view of Iran, but the UAE has nuanced its position in recent months — the Fujairah and Abqaiq attacks in 2019 convinced Abu Dhabi that some engagement with Tehran might be necessary. From the Arab point of view, Iran has to be tamed, but no viable security architecture for the region can be framed without Iran. This means some sophisticated diplomacy and tough steps may be called for.
India should use this unexpected opportunity to give itself a bigger role in a region which is its strategic backyard. The first step should be to ramp up defence and security relations with UAE. Israel is already a very close defence partner. But India should restart joint exercises with UAE, and even Saudi Arabia. While some work has already happened, India should leverage its economy for a bigger opening in this region. Importantly, India can use its good offices to ensure that any future deal on a regional security framework gives adequate space to Iran, which may be weak but not so weak that it cannot be a hugely disruptive power if it so chooses. And a bnce between Shia and Sunni, between Persian and Arab, is key to any sustainable peace.
The US may be a pre-eminent power in the Gulf-ME, but Russia has made a space for itself, spending a lot less money. In recent years, has indicated its willingness to play a larger role in this region, and is close to both UAE and Israel and, increasingly, Saudi Arabia. India should make its moves before this market and this extended neighbourhood come under the sphere of influence.
Pakistan could be collateral dge "Islbad has allowed its stand on Kashmir to alienate its friends in the Gulf. As Suri says, "They don't seem to realise that playing the Mus m card and seeking po itical support in the name of pan-Is mic solidarity no longer works." On te rorm and extremism, Pakistan is part of the problem, not the solution. It's no longer seen as a factor of peace in Afghanistan.
A deal that could, if played , open the doors for a changed geopo itical arrangement in the Middle East should have a stronger Indian footprint.
译文来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/p/50602.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
First of all, be nice to all your neighbors. 2ndly, pls try to pull billion of populations out of poverty. 3rdly, influence the world.No.1 and No.2 are important to Indian people.
It’s possible for India being approached or getting involved in the middle east situation positively as it has good relations with both the countries! Only point of contention is wait for the approach but never poke your nose!
Nasir Ali Zaidi
At the moment the deal only proves beneficial to Trump, bolstering his sagging oral chances in Nov. presi ntial ion as the deal will consolidate the jews vers. Its long term impact will take some time to emerge . But it is certain that Saudi Arabia gave its backing to the agreement .
Put Pakistan in the dog house.
V K Gupta
Let us await US ion and then decide.
BTW, where's in all this ?
wait and watch
Though the deal is announced, it may take some time before it fully comes into force.
This is the personal victory of Trump who can tell his vers that he is trying to bring peace & make them friend after living in animosity for decades & we should welcome it.
approach to grab Land and investment in small Nations for made infrastructure and gradually to rule small countries as it has started in Pakistan, Nepal, Srilanka etc. India is becoming problems for and on going projects which may get stopped because of Boarder issues. US, UAE looks for it's Market in South East Asia. India is only the country which can fulfill needs of US & UAE. In this continuing Global Situations India is getting threats from, Nepal Pakistan, in the name of Boarder issues and it's becoming a big threat on our Economy in the name of Defense.
But why Palestinians are ag inst this ??
The deal is good for global peace.
Well said. This is critical for India to become a regional and global super power. Trade always goes hand in hand with Military might. India needs US and UAE help to patrol and control Arabian sea and its influence. Control and restrict BRI for free kashmir.
Chandra Babu Neethipudi
Atleast some good sense prevailed. Peace is very much required in this region. Iran particularly and other warring factions should come out of re gion stigma and put humanity atop thereby facilitating peace in the region. Many children, women are suffering a lot.
UAE-Israel peace deal is good.Iran cannot be underestimated,need caution.. India cashing the present scenario to sideline with its greater capacity in the Asian region will be an added strength.
Feku, aka Surrender Modi, should put our own house in order before he tells other country what to do. After Feku himself ignites border disputes with all our neighbours, he is not in a position to preach others.
Pakistan is a fraud illegal country. Supported for the time being by . India needs to create a plan to bring back Pakistan and get those lands. Pakis are having a secret military pact with Iran and Turkey to destabilise the region.