Home Asia What is the ‘West Asian QUAD’ & Possible India’s Role in it

What is the ‘West Asian QUAD’ & Possible India’s Role in it

There is much hype about a proposed meeting among representatives of India, UAE, Israel and the US in 2022. Many observers are describing this group as the West Asian QUAD. It is reported that foreign ministers of these four countries are planning to meet in March 2022 to cement economic cooperation and develop infrastructure projects among its members. 

Meeting of the four foreign ministers will take place in Dubai, on the side lines of Dubai Expo 2020.

There is no official statement from any foreign ministries of these countries confirming the formation of such a group, but it has been reported that the states are working on detailed projects which will be taken up at the proposed meet. 

It is reported that foreign ministers of these countries had first virtually met on 18 October this year and decided to work on the brass tracks to establish a forum to further cooperation. The foreign ministries are also working to expand scope of economic cooperation and political cooperation and explore maritime security in the Middle Eastern region. 

Following the first meeting Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had said that the four countries are looking at an “expeditious follow-up” to the first meeting.

It may be noted that the four countries have specifically mentioned that there is no military dimension to this. Though the countries are yet to name the group, they specifically added that this grouping is not directed against any state.  

Each of the four countries have dedicated senior officials to explore more economic cooperation. They are said to be working under a Joint Working Group platform. 

Observers believe that signing of the Abraham Accords in 2020, between the UAE and Israel has provided the fillip towards such cooperation. India has supported Abraham Accords and other agreements which normalised ties between Israel and the UAE, Morocco, Sudan, and Bahrain. India, Israel and UAE are already cooperating for economic development under a tri-lateral arrangement. 

Indian foreign policy experts believe that India is moving towards an integrated regional policy, rather than focussing on bilateral ties. This also highlights India is attempting to develop a mini multilateral forum based on pragmatic reasoning. Such cooperation will help to reach out to Israel as well as the Arab world at the same time. This platform also shows convergence of ideas among policy makers of the US and India. 

Just the way, QUAD in Asia Pacific took a while to take a shape and form, likewise this proposed platform in West Asia will take a lot of willingness among members and alignment of interests to come together and bind into one platform.