Furthering India’s interests in West Asia – Maintain Balance

The importance of West Asia to India is manifold varyingfrom energy security to socio-cultural linkages, economic interests includinginvestments, defence relations and the large migrant population in the GulfStates. India cannot afford to ignore this region neither can it take sides inthe ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. Each partner be it Iran Saudi Arabia,Israel, Iraq, Qatar or UAE are important for New Delhi.India will thus need to sustain balanced relations takingadvantage of existing multilateral security arrangements in the Middle Eastincluding the United Nations. India also needs to create strategic reserves in petroleum for over 100days so that volatility in the energy chain does not impact the oil and gasprices in the country and there is adequate cushion for the government tomanage energy security.To ensure energy security, the Government of India hasdecided to set up 5 million metric tons (MMT) strategic crude oil storages atthree locations namely, Visakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur (near Udupi). ....................

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