Looking west 2: Beyond the Gulf

Authored by: P.R. Kumaraswamy

Handbook of India’s International Relations

Print publication date:  May  2011
Online publication date:  May  2011

Print ISBN: 9781857435528
eBook ISBN: 9780203828861
Adobe ISBN:


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The Middle East and North Africa, generally referred to as West Asia and North Africa (WANA) in official nomenclature, is a critical region for India. 1 Over the centuries India has had strong political, cultural, economic, often religious and energy-related contacts and interactions with this region. In the early part of the 20th century Indian nationalists recognized the importance of the region when they made common cause with their Arab counterparts, especially over the Palestinian question. The region’s importance has only increased since then. Within the Middle East, the Gulf sub-region attracted an importance primarily and even exclusively because of its energy resources and the resultant economic opportunities. Hence, much of India’s interest and attention was dominated by the oil-rich Gulf region, marginalizing other sub-regions such as the Fertile Crescent and the Maghreb.

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