India's Foreign Policy and India-Gulf Relations: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century

India’s Foreign Policy and India-Gulf Relations: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century

  • 12 May 2008

This lecture discussed the Indian foreign policy and India’s ties
with the Gulf, which go back many centuries. Every part of
the Arabian Peninsula attests to this close relationship, which
has become so comprehensive that it has encompassed every
aspect of human life—commercial, intellectual, religious, social
and cultural. The speaker saw that the “Look East” policy is
increasingly important to all the GCC countries. Given the
huge oil reserves in the Gulf countries and their geographical
proximity, India and the Gulf countries will remain long-term
partners in the energy sector. The challenge is how to develop
this existing buy-sell relationship into a deeper and more
sustainable one that encompasses all economic sectors; from
energy to education and health. In respect to regional issues,
the speaker confirmed India’s wish to see Iraqi people freely
determine their own political future and exercise control over
their natural resources. He said the international community
should help in finding a political solution to the cycle of
violence and sectarian fighting in Iraq. The speaker considered
Iran as a major economic partner of India, particularly in
the area of energy security, adding that Iran is a significant
role-player in regional and world affairs, and it is important to
engage with it. As for Pakistan, he said in recent years, India
has pursued a policy of positive and substantial engagement
with Pakistan and the two countries have addressed issues
of bilateral interest. He said India welcomes the revival of the
democratic process in Pakistan and remains confident that the
two countries will be able to pursue the bilateral process of
consultation and dialogue, although India is clearly concerned
about extremist elements in Pakistan and the constant threat
they pose to neighboring countries.

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LECTURER

Monday 12 May 2008

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Monday 12 May 2008

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