Without a summit, the “four countries” in West Asia make progress

President Biden’s participation in the Indo-Pacific “quad” summit of Australia, Japan, India and the United States, which competes with China, demonstrates the importance of East Asia and the South Pacific in current U.S. policy. But it seems to be making more progress is a different group of four countries.

The “Quartet of West Asia” consisting of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the United States is roll out In October 2021, it will have far less hype than the hype of the Indo-Pacific Partnership. But it has already led to a free trade agreement and several cooperative arrangements. Unlike the Indo-Pacific Quartet, which shies away from thorny security issues, the West Asian partnership includes a realistic assessment of shared threats.

The West Asian Quartet’s ideas come from Israel and the UAE support U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken talks about the four countries taking advantage of each other’s “Complementary capabilities” in the Middle East, while the Israeli foreign minister Yar Rapid Emphasizes the “synergies” of “infrastructure, digital infrastructure, transport, maritime security”.

In the words of UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, the West Asia Quartet is not focusing on challenges from a single rising power, but by “distinguishThe relationship between these countries. The UAE, Israel and the United States are India’s “the closest relationship,” and these close ties make the four countries more willing to cooperate.

In early May, the UAE Minister of Economy led a 70-member enterprise delegation Trip to Delhi and Mumbai to discuss how to further boost trade and investment in India and the UAE.This is a follow up for February 2022 Free trade agreement Signed by the two countries and entered into force on May 1.Similar free trade agreements already exist between Israel and the UAE, while the free trade agreement between India and Israel is pipeline.

UAE is already one of India’s largest trading partners after US, China and EU Trading volume. Bilateral trade between the two countries was worth $59 billion last year, and Emirati companies have invested $18 billion in India. The UAE is also home to 3.4 million Indian workers, and their remittances are an important part of India’s $83 billion in hard currency earnings. money transfer. The UAE has helped address India’s oil security concerns by contributing to India’s oil security. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Israel’s partnership with India is also strong, and Israel is one of India’s top three defense equipment suppliers. 43% Israel arms export sold to India.India-Israel bilateral trade is currently in $4.14 billion, growing. Israel exports agricultural technology, networking technology, healthcare technology and defense equipment to India, while India sells minerals, machinery and textiles to Israel.

The West Asian Quartet is brought together by common interests and complementary capabilities. This is different from the Indo-Pacific Quartet, where despite the enthusiasm of the United States, partners do not always meet each other’s needs. No free trade agreement for the four countries like Israel, India and the UAE seems to have worked. Each of them know they have to work together against China, but they seem to be taking the time to figure out what they might be getting from each other. For example, Japan wants to replace China as Australia’s main trading partner, but cannot offer Australia any security advantage in return.

There is no such ambiguity in the West Asian quadrilateral. While the United States puts its military might on the table, other partners can make significant contributions to each other’s security or economy. The UAE’s strategic pragmatism provides the glue for the group, while ensuring India provides energy supplies and jobs for its vast population. The UAE sees India as an external force to balance China and is not seen as a threat by the US.

Israel’s technological and economic prowess, as well as military intelligence prowess, complements India’s ability to provide manpower and access to large markets. The UAE acknowledges Israel’s bold moves, and its strong commitment to the Abraham Accords, bringing it closer to Israel.

This allows the UAE to influence Israel to protect Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, while also being the staunchest Muslim opponent of radical Islamic extremism.India, home to 200 million Muslims and victims of terrorism such as the 26 November 2008 Mumbai attack, thanks Israel and the UAE for their support to terrorists

The West Asian Quartet works because it combines the two major economies of the Middle East — Israel and the United Arab Emirates — with a more assertive India and a resident external power, the United States. If the Indo-Pacific Quartet is to succeed, it must also find complementarities among its members similar to those that the West Asia Quartet has successfully identified.

Hussein Haqqani is director of the South and Central Asia Department at the Hudson Institute. From 2008-11, he served as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States. Aparna Pande is a fellow and director of the Future of India and South Asia Initiative at the Hudson Institute in Washington.