News Brief

"Source Of Concern": S Jaishankar On West Asia Crisis Impacting India's Economic Corridor Plans To Counter China's BRI

Bhuvan Krishna

May 12, 2024, 01:12 PM | Updated 01:12 PM IST

EAM S Jaishankar.
EAM S Jaishankar.

The delay in implementing the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) due to the current situation in West Asia is a matter of concern, according to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

In an exclusive interview with PTI, Jaishankar stated, "It has definitely been a source of concern for us and the kind of expectation we had when the agreement was signed in September, we have had to adjust it a bit."

He further added, "On the other hand, all the parties to the agreement have reconfirmed that 'we think it is a great idea' and all are committed to it."

The IMEC, aimed at integrating Asia, Middle East, and the West through extensive road, railroad, and shipping networks, is considered path-breaking.

However, Jaishankar emphasised the need to wait for stabilisation in the region, considering the situation's complexity, as per a report by The New Indian Express.

He also pointed out various concerns ranging from terrorism to humanitarian corridors to the two-state solution for Palestine.

The initiative also includes plans for an electricity cable network, a hydrogen pipeline, and a high-speed data cable network to boost economic growth in partner countries.

Additionally, it is viewed as a strategic effort by like-minded nations to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative, criticised for its lack of transparency and respect for national sovereignty.

The IMEC was formalised during the G20 Summit in Delhi, with India, Saudi Arabia, the European Union, the United Arab Emirates, the US, and other G20 partners signing an agreement for the corridor.

Amid escalating tensions in West Asia, including attacks by Hamas on Israel and subsequent hostage situations, India has been advocating for de-escalation and the resumption of peace negotiations for a two-state solution to the Palestine issue.

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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