This is a single-volume account of India's relations with the Middle East. The author critically analyzes the many considerations - political, strategic, diplomatic and economic - that have shaped foreign policy decisions. Against the historical backdrop of the newly independent India, the author examines relations with four key Middle Eastern states - Egypt, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia - evaluating India's concerns about security in the region and its own developing economy. In particular, Mudiam emphasizes the ways in which, initially, India's foreign policy towards the Middle East was strongly influenced by Nehru's own ideological and intellectual proclivities - though these were not necessarily in the long-term interests of the region.
Part 1 Introduction: common historical experience of imperial domination; the British policy of divide and rule; the Khalifat issue; the Palestine problem; the creation of Pakistan; the Kashmir issue; India's general foreign policy objectives; non-alignment - rationale and resilience; non-alignment and balance of power; global balance; regional balance; sub-continental balance; India and the superpowers; India and China; self-sufficiency; bilateralism. Part 2 India's politico-diplomatic interest in the Middle East - Egypt and Iraq: the Pakistan factor; India's fears of an Islamic bloc; Kashmir; nonalignment; a Cairo-centric policy; India and Egypt; Egypt's opposition to the formation of an Islamic bloc; the Pakistani-Egyptian equation; Indo-Egyptian cooperation; the Suez Crisis, 1956; the cooling of Indo-Egyptian relations; India and Iraq; Indo-Iraqi relations till 1958; the Baghdad Pact, 1955; the 1958 Ba'athist coup and after; the Iraqi foreign minister's visit to India, 1967; the importance of growing Indo-Iraqi ties; Indo-Iraqi political honeymoon; Iraq and the Janata interregnum, 1977-79; Indo-Iraqi relations in the 1980s. Part 2 India's politico-diplomatic interest in the Middle East - Iran and Saudi Arabia: India and Iran; alignment and alienation; the Nehru factor; the Nasser factor; Islam and Pakistan as factors; the changing scenario of the 1960s; the changing Pakistan-Iran equation; the changing tenor of Indo-Arab relations; the Bangladesh crisis, 1971; the Arabi-Israeli War, 1973; Khomeini's Iran and India; India and Saudi Arabia; the initial harmony; the Nasser factor; Islam and Pakistan as a counter; Kashmir; the post-1973 period; Indo-Saudi ties in the 1980s. Part 3 India's security and strategic interests in the Middle East: India's security concerns and policies in the Middle East till 1971; fears of an Islamic bloc; the Baghdad Pact, 1955; non-Pakistani security concerns; the Indo-Pakistan wars and the Middle East; India's security concerns in the Middle East since 1971; Pakistan and Iran; Pakistan and Saudi Arabia; the "Islamic bomb"; Islamic fundamentalism; Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Part 4 India's economic interests in the Middle East: trade; labour; remittances; oil; loans and aid; civil construction and industrial projects. Part 5 Indo-Israeli relations: at the UN; India's position - a reformulation; recognition issue; diplomatic relations; Bandung, 1955; the Suez Crisis, 1956; covert contacts; moments of pettiness; the Arab-Israeli War, 1967; the Yom Kippur War, 1973; the Janata government and Israel; Israeli invasion of Lebanon, 1982; the Pakistani bomb and Indo-Israeli cooperation; Indo-Israeli relations - a reappraisal. Part 6 India and the Palestine Liberation Organization: India and the Palestine question till 1969; differences between the Indian and Arab approaches; Indian support at the UN for the Palestinian refugees. (Part contents).