December 7, 2021 - 9:31 am

 A New Quad

India, Israel, the US and the UAE began a new Quadrilateral Economic Forum aims to establish an international forum for economic cooperation. The new quadrilateral grouping will expand the economic and political cooperation in the middle East and Asia, including through trade, combating climate change, technology corporations including big data and energy corporation and increasing maritime security.

                                India is already a member of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with the US, Australia and Japan which have common concerns and shared interests in East Asia. This new grouping will give an edge to India to enhance its West Asia policy - the Sunni gulf monarchies, Israel and Iran. These East and West Asian groupings can multiply India's position significantly to ensure regional peace and security. With the New Quad, India's economic opportunity with countries in West Asia can be expended drastically.

                                There are some challenges associated with this grouping as joining both the quad might affect India's traditional non-alignment policy in West Asia and East Asia as this will be seen as India's open support to capitalist countries. The dominance of the US might not be able to help India follow its national interest if both quad members countries oppose India's decision. India must keep maintaining a strategic autonomy by addressing all the challenge and maintain a healthy relationship with Iran as threat emanating from Afghanistan in future.

                                India should improve relations with non-Quad countries to stay the course with its policy of multi-alignment and multi-engagement in an increasingly multipolar world. Despite all these things, the new Quad platform will help India to pursue wide-ranging minilateral partnerships in the region. With major power like France, Russia China getting drawn to this region, the alliance will help India shape its position in changing the geopolitics of this region. India needs a careful balancing act in West Asia to secure its long-term Strategic Interests.