‘Solidarity and stability’ agreement between Gulf countries

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‘Solidarity and stability’ agreement between Gulf countries 

‘Solidarity and stability’ agreement between Gulf countries

Solidarity and stability, हिन्दी करंट अफेयर्स, करंट अफेयर्स, 6 jan 2021, अंतर्राष्ट्रीय सम्बन्ध, खाड़ी देशों के बीच ‘एकजुटता और स्थिरता’ समझौता, खाड़ी देश
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  • Leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar publicly signed a ‘solidarity and stability’ agreement with leaders of Gulf countries.
  • The agreement was reached at the 41st Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit held in AlUla, Saudi Arabia.
  • With this, ‘Doha’ has been brought back into the regional group after a long three-year rift.

Background:

In June 2017, a group of Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia banned diplomatic, business and transport relations with ‘Qatar’. These countries accused Qatar of being close to Iran and supporting radical Islamic groups. Qatar dismissed the allegations as an attack on its sovereignty.

Reason

  • Qatar was accused of strengthening relations with Iran and supporting radical Islamic groups.
  • Qatar was accused of spreading terror and funding with the support of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood (a Sunni Islamic political group banned by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates).

Objective:

The agreement aims to unite in efforts to promote the Gulf region and to face the challenges faced by the Gulf countries, particularly the challenges posed by Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program and its other destructive plans.

Gulf Cooperation Council:

The GCC is a political, economic, social and regional organization, established in 1981 through an agreement concluded between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It is important to note that due to geographical proximity, Islam-based common political system and the same objective, a distinct relationship exists between all these countries.

India and Iran:

  • India has always shared friendly relations with Iran, although India-Iran relations are currently going through their most complex phase due to pressure from the US.
  • GCC suppliers account for about 34 percent of India’s crude imports.
  • In May 2018, the US criticized the Iran Nuclear Agreement (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and decided to withdraw from it and tightened economic sanctions against Iran.

India and Qatar:

  • Recently the Foreign Minister of India met top leaders of Qatar and discussed strengthening the economic and security cooperation between the two countries.
  • India shares friendly relations with Qatar and India maintained cordial relations with this oil-rich country even during the sanctions on Qatar.

India’s overall role in this field:

  • India has always abstained from engaging in local or regional disputes in the region, as Indian interests need peace and regional stability, not power.
  • The Gulf countries are among India’s top trading partner countries, marking the increasing volume of energy imports in India and the growing interdependence of the energy sector between the Gulf countries. Also, there is a possibility of large scale investment in India’s hydrocarbon sector from Gulf countries.
  • Along with political cooperation, there has been a considerable increase in cooperation between India and the Gulf countries in the security sector, especially in counter-terrorism operations.
  • India and the Gulf countries are also taking steps as far as possible for cooperation in the defense sector.
  • For example, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and other Gulf countries participated in the multinational mega exercise ‘Milan’.
Why is peace important in the region?

 

  • Any type of volatility in the Middle East is likely to increase oil prices, and maintain high oil prices in the event of long-term volatility.
  • Qatar is the largest supplier of liquid natural gas in the world and Egypt and the United Arab Emirates are the major recipients.
  • India relies on Qatar for 90% of its natural gas requirements.
  • Qatar’s Sovereign Wealth Fund and other state-owned entities, as well as private investors in Qatar, are looking at an option to invest in the infrastructure sector in India.

Source: The Hindu

 

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