Q. Analyze the repercussions of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict on India’s economy, energy security, and foreign policy. (150 Words)10 Oct, 2023 GS Paper 2 International Relations
- Begin with a brief introduction to the Israel-Hamas conflict, providing context on the effects of the conflict.
- Discuss possible repercussions of the conflict on India. Also, discuss some of the suggestive measures.
- You can conclude your answer with a way forward approach.
The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has serious implications for India’s economy, energy security, and foreign policy. India has strong ties with both Israel and Palestine, as well as other countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey. 80% of India’s total consumption depends on oil imports, to fulfill this consumption demand India is heavily dependent on the Middle East for its oil imports.
Some of the possible repercussions of the conflict on India:
- Trade Relations: An escalation in the conflict could impact India's trade with Israel, particularly in critical areas like defense equipment. Israel is a significant supplier of defense technology to India, and any disruption in this trade relationship could affect India's defense preparedness.
- Diplomatic Challenges: India has traditionally maintained a balanced approach in its foreign policy towards Israel and Arab countries. If the conflict escalates and draws in other Arab nations, it could pose diplomatic challenges for India. Balancing its ties with Israel and maintaining good relations with Arab nations may become more complex.
- Economic and Strategic Ties with the Middle East: India's economic and strategic ties with the Middle East have grown in importance, particularly in the context of initiatives like the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor. If the conflict intensifies and involves other regional actors like Hezbollah and Iran, it could destabilize the West Asian region.
- Energy Supply: The West Asian region is a crucial source of energy imports for India. Any disruption in the stability of the region could potentially impact India's energy supply, leading to economic challenges.
- Welfare of Indian Expatriates: India has a significant expatriate population working in various Middle Eastern countries. The welfare and safety of these Indian nationals could be at risk if the conflict escalates, and it becomes essential for India to ensure their protection.
India should consider various factors and interests in its foreign policy. However, some possible suggestions are:
- Uphold two-state solution: India should uphold the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, aligning with UN resolutions and international law as in the past.
- Continue strategic partnership: India should continue its strategic partnership with Israel in defense, counter-terrorism, and technology to bolster security, development, and relations with countries like the US, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
- Leverage diplomatic influence: India can leverage its diplomatic influence to promote peace, encourage dialogue, and provide humanitarian aid in Gaza, Israel, and its diaspora.
- Partnership with other stakeholders: India should seek partnerships with Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Russia, China, and the EU to address the conflict and use its UN Security Council position and Non-Aligned Movement leadership to promote West Asian peace.
Therefore, it is in India’s interest to see a peaceful resolution of the conflict and a restoration of stability in the region. India should use its diplomatic leverage and goodwill to urge both sides to exercise restraint and resume dialogue. India should also coordinate with other regional and international actors to facilitate humanitarian assistance and prevent further violence.
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