India’s relations with Saudi Arabia and UAE under the Modi Government

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Sumant Kumar


India is home to the third-largest Muslim population, any internal policy changes affect Muslim voters including bilateral relations with neighbours and Gulf countries. Despite, several criticisms, the Modi government gained some objections over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Population Register (NPR), and National Register of Citizens (NRC) issues at the national level. Nonetheless, the government has regained a second term in India. Modi's foreign policies not only made a new high in the bilateral relationship with Islamic countries in the Gulf, but amicability had changed significantly. Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE in West Asia are rebuilding a new friendship era with India. After the decline of oil demand from the Western Countries, Gulf countries’ expectations have increased to re-draw their approach towards New Delhi. Retrospectively, it also provided several opportunities from both sides (India and Saudi Arabia-UAE) to boost their ties including a joint naval exercise between the UAE and India, an invitation by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to Sushma Swaraj, the inauguration of a Hindu temple in the UAE by Narendra Modi as well as the Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman visit to New Delhi. These are a few steps from both India and Saudi Arabia-UAE sides to re-energize their relationship. Therefore, this paper discusses how the Modi government despite numerous challenges able to enhance a new era of the bilateral relationship with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. This research extensively covers the aspects of the economic, military, and strategic relationships which include both side visits and MoU.


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