West Asia Centre
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  • About Centre

    The West Asia Centre seeks to cover issues, themes and countries of the region which are undergoing rapid political transformation impacting the political and security situation of the region and beyond. Popular protests demanding political and economic reforms and the subsequent fall of some long ruling authoritarian rulers and the rise of Islamists to power have significantly changed the region’s political landscape. GCC-Iran rivalry, Shia-Sunni sectarian conflict, external intervention in the region, and the rise of religious radicalism have further aggravated the situation. The Centre is closely following the unfolding internal political developments in individual countries as well as the regional political scenario.

    The historical shifts in the region and domestic political developments will have a significant impact on India’s external environment. With huge stakes in the region such as energy, trade and safety of Indian citizens in the region, it has become important for India to carefully watch developments taking place in its ‘extended neighbourhood.’ These and other related issues are being focused upon by the scholars at the Centre. The Centre continues to hold regular bilateral dialogues with some leading think tanks in West Asia thus facilitating exchange of ideas and perspectives.

    Current projects being pursued in the Centre are:

  • Linking South and Central and West Asia: Transportation and Energy Cooperation
  • Political transformations in the Arab world and implications for India
  • Regional organisation in Gulf: The Gulf Cooperation Council
  • India-Arab relations and partnership
  • Iran’s domestic and foreign policies
  • India’s Engagement with Iran: Prospects and challenges.
  • Members

    Persian Gulf 2016-17: India's Relations with the Region

    • Publisher: Pentagon Press

    The Persian Gulf-2016-17 is fifth in the series published by MEI @ ND and first in collaboration with the IDSA. It Examines India’s bilateral relations with the region and focusses on developments during 2015 and 2016. It gives a comprehensive account of the strategic, political, economic and cultural aspects of bilateral developments and also provides in depth analysis of internal dynamics of the Persian Gulf countries.

    • ISBN: 978-93-86618-19-1,
    • Price: ₹ 1295
    • E-copy available

    Arab Spring and Sectarian Faultlines in West Asia: Bahrain, Yemen and Syria

    • Publisher: Pentagon Press

    Since the outbreak of the Arab unrest, sectarian politics has become more pronounced throughout the West Asian region which is reflected in the growing polarisation of society and politics on narrow sectarian lines. Rulers have adopted sectarian approaches as a measure to secure their regimes.

    • ISBN 978-93-86618-05-4,
    • Price: ₹ 795
    • E-copy available

    Iran Sanctions and India: Navigating the Road Blocks

    Iran Sanctions and India: Navigating the Road Blocks

    The monograph examines UNSC, US and EU sanctions targeting Iran as a result of concerns emanating from its nuclear programme and the implications they have had for India.


    Turmoil in West Asia: The Sectarian Divide Shapes Regional Competitions

    Turmoil in West Asia: The Sectarian Divide ShapesRegional Competitions

    Five years after the Arab Spring, West Asia is witnessing two major military conflicts in Syria and Yemen. Several states are deeply polarised and at the edge of breakdown, and there is proliferation of jihadis across the region, engaged in extraordinary brutality against enemy states and “heretic” communities.


    Geopolitical Shifts in West Asia: Trends and Implications

    Geopolitical Shifts in West Asia:Trends and Implications
    • Publisher: Pentagon Press

    The West Asian region is undergoing a phase of massive turbulence since the outbreak of the Arab Spring. This period has been marked by popular protests, internal conflicts, civil wars, military interventions and involvement of external players. The regional security situation remains fragile with a new terrorist entity, the Islamic State, emerging to challenge the existing geographical boundaries of the region. There has been an enormous increase in terrorism and extremism, and the non-state actors have gained significant influence in regional politics.

    • ISBN 978-81-8274-877-4,
    • Price: ₹ 995.00
    • E-copy available

    Israel–China Ties at 25: The Limited Partnership

    Israel–China bilateral ties have witnessed significant growth since the establishment of full diplomatic relations in January, 1992. Both countries are currently investing their energies in realising the full potential of their on-going partnership in the innovation economy. Growing tourist linkages are another facet of the burgeoning relationship.

    July 2017

    India–Israel Defence Trade: Issues and Challenges

    To achieve strategically critical self-reliance in defence production, there needs to be a greater focus on co-development, co-production projects with important partners like Israel, with an essential emphasis on exports to third countries. For the full realisation of the potential of the India–Israel defence partnership, India on its part needs to strengthen elements of its procurement processes—including the proper implementation of laid down policies.

    July 2017

    Assessing US Influence over India–Israel Relations: A Difficult Equation to Balance?

    As India’s Israel policy evolved over time, the US involvement in this bilateral relationship has been constant, albeit neither consistent nor direct. Breaking with traditional state-centric approaches, this article focuses on the key role played in shaping the nature of India–Israel ties by non-state and sub-state actors such as specific political personalities, for example Congressmen Emmanuel Celler in the 1940s and Stephen Solarz in the 1980s, as well as of pro-Israel interest groups based in the US, like the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

    July 2017

    Israel and India: Looking Back and Ahead

    The article begins by reviewing the Zionist attempts to turn India into a friend. The Zionist movement viewed India as important almost from its formation. Attitudes shaping behaviour prior to the formation of both the states are assessed, as is the icy relationship that prevailed between the two states prior to January 1992. The factors that brought about the change in the relationship to ambassadorial status are analysed, along with the two countries’ burgeoning strategic partnership. Finally, a few thoughts are offered concerning the future of the relationship.

    July 2017

    Redefining ‘Strategic’ Cooperation

    A quarter century after normalisation of relations, India and Israel have shown considerable maturity in handling bilateral relations and dexterity in managing their occasional differing worldviews. Relations have weathered political changes within India as well as periodic upheavals in West Asia and the stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Military-security cooperation played a pivotal role in carrying forward relations even when political contacts were minimal, as was the case during the decade-long United Progressive Alliance (UPA) rule.

    July 2017

    India-Jordan Relations: An Ascendant Partnership

    King Abdullah II’s forthcoming visit to India represents an opportunity to catapult the relationship to the next higher level in strategic, security, political, energy, trade, investment and economic cooperation.

    February 26, 2018

    India and Iran Resolve to Focus on Connectivity and Economic Cooperation

    Notwithstanding differences on some issues, chiefly, Afghanistan and India’s UNSC aspirations, India and Iran have decided to focus their energies on areas of concurrence such as connectivity and economic cooperation.

    February 20, 2018

    Jordan is more than a transit point

    Indian assistance to the Palestinians could not be routed through Israel without political controversy both at home and abroad, and India cannot help the Palestinians constructively without coordinating with Jordan.

    February 12, 2018

    Turkey’s Afrin Offensive can pitch Ankara against both Washington and Moscow

    Turkey's resolve to dislodge the Democratic Union Party (PYD) from Afrin, a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria adjacent to the Turkish border, will be seriously tested by the US and Russian opposition to military action against the Kurds.

    January 22, 2018

    Is it Jerusalem or Jerusalems?

    Jerusalem is a theological, geographical, historical, archaeological, political and emotional issue with contested claims and overlapping legacies.

    December 15, 2017



    12th IDSA-IPIS Bilateral Dialogue

    July 24, 2016 to July 25, 2016