India’s moving towards new Middle East strategy.
Prime minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to Israel in July. Diplomatic activity seems to be evolving between India and Israel and Indian-Israeli relations have been tightened since than. It is said by some that New Delhi is moving towards New Middle East strategy.
Israel is the third largest supplier of defence equipment for India. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute states that Israel has supplied $1.7bn worth of defence equipment to India over the past ten years. India also placed a $1.6bn order for an Israeli anti-aircraft missile system.
Other deals around water, agriculture and industrial policy have been made. Civil servants are being sent to Israel to prepare the way for Defence cooperation, which is on top of the agenda as well.
Clear statements couldn’t be made about the Palestinian issue. It is said by some that New Delhi is in pursuit of other economic and security aims.
“India’s modern ambitions are challenging the notion of how it approaches the region. It is becoming harder for India to portray itself as a neutral power in the region,” says Taneja. “There is going to be a time soon when India’s ambitions of becoming a global superpower are going to collide with its neutrality.”