Israel–UAE normalization agreement officially called the Abraham Accords Peace Agreement is a historic breakthrough in Arab-Israel relations. What is the geo-political significance of the deal? Examine the implications of the deal particularly to India.
The Abraham Accords are a joint statement between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States. According to the Accord, UAE and Israel would establish formal diplomatic relations and in exchange, Israel would suspend its plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
Geo-political significance of the deal
- It encourages gulf and Arab nations to start agreements with Israel. It signifies a strategic advantage over Iran and access to better technology including biotech, healthcare, and defense and cyber surveillance. It might also prompt other Gulf and Arab nations to start engagement with Israel.
- Jordanian Israeli treaty came after Israel agreed to the formation of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza.
- It allows US to pivot away from Trump’s Peace to Prosperity plan for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Implications for India:
- Diplomatic: In general, the Israel-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) eases India’s diplomatic balancing act on the Palestinian issue.
- Strategic: A new arena of the proxy war between Iran and Israel cannot be ruled out, particularly in Shia pockets.
- India would have to be on its guard to monitor and even pre-empt any threat to its interests in the Gulf.
- Economic fallout:
- Currently, India is the preferred source of manpower, food products, pharmaceuticals, gem and jewelry; light engineering items, etc. in the gulf. But Israel can become a tough competitor to India.
- Israel has niche strengths in defense, security and surveillance equipment, arid farming, solar power, horticultural products, high-tech, gem and jewelry, and pharmaceuticals.
- Israel has the potential to supply skilled and semi-skilled manpower to the GCC states, particularly from the Arabic speaking Sephardim and Mizrahim ethnicities.
- Israel is known as the start-up nation and its stakeholders could easily fit in the various duty-free incubators in the UAE.