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INDIA AND ISRAEL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES

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Today’s strategic environment provides boundless space for both the international and regional actors to understand, share and cooperate with each other in order to protect and secure their own national interest and maintain strategic stability within their own region. Every nation in the international affairs has its own strategic significance against another in terms of its strategic location for economic and military means. However, the geostrategic significance of one nation remains a threat to another nation’s own interest and stability within its region.

Similar is the case of Israel which is surrounded by its major neighbouring nations as Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon which are constantly in the state of unrest due to various regional and inter-state conflicts in the Arab world. This situation also resembles similar for India with countries as Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Srilanka, which remain burning due to its inter –state, inter – religious,  political unrest, ethnic conflicts, traditional and non-traditional security threats as reported on the world conflict database, and by and large remain serious concerns to India’s national interest.

In this context, the relationship between the two major players in the strategic calculus is of utmost concern considering the geostrategic significance of the two countries.

Historical background
Since, India’s independence post 1947, there was no formal relationship with Israel. India recognized the state of Israel in 1950, two years after its establishment in 1948. However, India’s pro-Arab attitude and its strong commitment to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which created rift and division between these two countries. In 1992 a significant diplomatic change occurred, when India and Israel established full diplomatic relations which reached new heights under the successive Indian Governments headed by BJP (1998-2004).  The relationship with Israel is purely based on the cooperation in the field of defence and security matters. The strategic partnership with Israel presupposes a broad understanding of mutual security concern that is common to the interest for both nations. The end of Cold war created a breathing space for major rising powers around the globe to choose partners of common interest and concern for each other. So was the case of Israel which appeared to be more appealing to India’s foreign policy. There were four major causes that lead to the building of the strategic partnership from both sides.

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Published in Political Reflection Magazine Vol. 3 No. 3

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