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Does the Elephant Dance?Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy$
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David M. Malone

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199552023

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199552023.001.0001

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India’s West Asia Policy

India’s West Asia Policy

Delicate Manoeuvres

(p.179) 8 India’s West Asia Policy
Does the Elephant Dance?

David M. Malone

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with what is mostly referred to as the Middle East, but which Indians consider West Asia —a regional designation that makes clear that this geostrategically critical area also lies in India’s own extended region. During the years of non-alignment, India’s diplomacy cultivated Iran and independent Arab countries. Its focus on Iran has not wavered, but as economic change and various conflicts in the region reshaped regional alliances, India’s policy evolved in the early 1990s, with the establishment of diplomatic relations with Israel. The chapter traces India’s adaptation to changes in a region and concludes that it enjoys positive relations with virtually all countries of the area. Indian ties with the Maghreb countries which are both African and Arab, as well as its important ties with Egypt, the Gulf, and Iraq, are also discussed.

Keywords:   Indian foreign policy, Middle East, diplomacy, foreign relations, Iran, Maghreb countries, Egypt, the Gulf, Iraq

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