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India’s Arab World outreach to build momentum in ties

India is launching a major outreach with key members of the Arab World through G20 to build momentum in strategic partnership and economic linkages.

Besides Saudi Arabia, which is a G20 member, leaders of the UAE, Oman and Egypt are expected to attend the G20 Summit as invitees. All four are close strategic partners of India with the Egyptian President attending the Republic Day Parade as the chief guest this year and PM Narendra Modi visiting Cairo in June.

Ties with Egypt have received fresh momentum since 2021 with regular defence exchanges. Indian investments are expanding in Egypt and local authorities are offering India a dedicated cluster in the Suez Canal Economic Zone.

In July, Modi visited the UAE again reflecting strong bonds across strategic and economic sectors. India and the UAE have launched oil trade using national currencies.

Oman is India’s oldest strategic partner in the Gulf and NSA AK Doval visited Muscat and Duqm Port in June. Oman has offered logistical facilities to the Indian Navy for Duqm Port. The Port of Duqm overlooks the Gulf of Oman, the Indian Ocean, and the Arabian Sea. Duqm will play a key part in India’s maritime strategy concerning the Indian Ocean, where China is expanding its presence. Being located to the north-west of the Indian Ocean, the port can provide India easy access to the Red Sea, via the Gulf of Aden.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt –– key players in the Arab World as well as OIC –– have been admitted as new BRICS members last week. The Saudi Crown Prince is expected to undertake a state visit to India immediately after the G20 Summit.Leaders of all four Arab world states share a strong chemistry with PM Narendra Modi. Presence in the G20 Summit will be Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tarik’s maiden trip to India in the current capacity.Other invitees for the G20 Summit are Bangladesh, Mauritius, Spain, the Netherlands and Singapore.

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