The Gulf crisis: Why is India still neutral?

29/07/2017 (Arab News – KSA by Naser Al Tamimi*): The decision by four Arab states — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt — to cut ties with Qatar may have ramifications on India. For now, these will be mostly concentrated in the diplomatic sphere; however, pressure on New Delhi to pick sides is likely to grow as the Gulf crisis deepens. So far, India has been working hard to maintain a neutral stance over the Gulf crisis to avoid any political and economic risks and ensure the well-being of Indian citizens working or living in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. Certainly, India is watching the situation very closely as it has even more reason to be concerned about the developments in the Gulf region. The Gulf states are among the most vital economic zones for India. Indeed, the GCC bloc was India’s largest trading partner in 2016. At the country level, the UAE and Saudi Arabia were among New Delhi’s Top 5 trading partners…

*Naser Al-Tamimi is a UK-based Middle East researcher, political analyst and commentator with interests in energy politics and Gulf-Asia relations.



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