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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

India-UAE relations in a changing global geopolitical landscape

CCooperation between India and the UAE is no longer just bilateral. Given their alignment on key global issues (economic and strategic), both countries work closely together in multilateral forums. Clearly reaffirming this, India has invited the UAE as the guest of honor at the G20 summit in Delhi in September 2023.

India and the UAE are also part of two important blocs; I2U2 (also referring to the West Asia Quad consisting of the US, India, Israel, UAE) and the India-France-UAE Tripartite. These groupings are important for several reasons.

First, both groups seek to further advance cooperation in a wide range of areas.


I2U2 aims to foster cooperation in multiple fields Examples include water, energy, transportation and food security. The West Asia Quartet also seeks to boost private sector engagement – with the aim of strengthening cooperation among all four countries. This was perfectly reiterated during the I2U2 Sherpa meeting in Abu Dhabi last month, when an I2U2 Business Forum was organized with the aim of strengthening ties between the I2U2 business community. nation.

India-France-UAE tripartite

If one were to look at the trilateral India-France-UAE initiative which seeks to promote cooperate In areas such as defence, energy and climate change.

Both blocs seek to cooperate in areas that are important in the context of the changing global economic landscape and necessary to achieve the domestic goals of the countries of these blocs.

The geopolitical importance of these two groups

Second, both groupings are a reaffirmation of the changing geopolitical landscape. The I2U2 grouping reflects the changing landscape in the Middle East. Relations between the UAE and Israel have improved significantly since the signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020. India’s ties with Israel and the UAE have strengthened in recent years. The U.S. focus on I2U2 is not only important in the context of strengthening relations with other countries in the bloc, but also sends a strong message to China, whose rising involvement and influence in the Middle East makes the U.S. uneasy.

The India-UAE-France trilateral relationship is significant because while all three countries have close ties to the United States, their approach to several geopolitical issues does not align with Washington’s.If one looks at examples of U.S. relations, they declare victim (Australia, UK and US) to agree in 2021. As a result of the agreement, Australia canceled a 2016 agreement with France to buy French-built diesel-electric submarines. France is also less than happy with the rising tensions between the US and China.when speaking at the annual meeting summit In November 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron emphasized at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting that the world needs a “single world order” rather than “two orders”. He also said countries should not be forced to choose between Washington and Beijing. France’s handling of the Russo-Ukrainian war is also different from that of the United States.

If you look at India, while its strategic and economic relationship with the United States has grown in many ways, and the two countries are working closely together—especially under the Indo-Pacific umbrella—India has taken a more aggressive approach with Russia. stand alone – especially Economy — After the Russo-Ukrainian War. The UAE, for its part, has also taken an independent stance on the crisis, an example of which is its fervent support for Russia as part of OPEC+ and criticism of other countries for trying to avoid Russia.

This grouping thus clearly illustrates the growing importance of middle powers wishing to pursue independent paths on important issues.

The three countries may also use forums such as the G20 and COP28 for deliberation and engagement.The joint statement issued by the foreign ministers also said that more tripartite events will be held under “…in the context of India’s G20 presidency here and the COP28, which will be held in the UAE in November-December 2023.”

India-UAE relations are important from a bilateral perspective but increasingly convergent on global geopolitical and economic issues. In addition to multilateral platforms, trilateral arrangements such as I2U2 and India-UAE-France, driven by the rising importance of middle-level states, may play an important role in shaping the global narrative on important economic and security issues.

[Prime Minister’s Office, India, via Wikimedia Commons]

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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