New Delhi: India, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia will soon start work on an ambitious project to connect Middle East countries through a rail network. It is said that in this project the Middle-East will be connected to South Asia through sea lanes. According to sources, the country’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met his counterparts from the US, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in Saudi Arabia recently in this regard. With the completion of this project, India will have direct access to the Gulf countries. This will save India’s expenditure on import of petroleum.
America is taking interest in this
According to an American news website, during this meeting, the national security advisors discussed the ambitious project proposed by the US. The US wants India’s expertise in laying the rail network to be used in this project. The US is interested in this project because it wants to limit the growing influence of China and its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative in the Middle East through this project.
The foundation of this project was laid 18 months ago
This project has been named Blue Dot Network. The project was first mooted 18 months ago during a conversation in the i2u2 forum. India, Israel, the United States and the United Arab Emirates are members of this forum. The forum was created to discuss strategic infrastructure projects in the Middle East by the end of 2021. The expertise of India’s rail network is being considered very important in the project connecting the Middle East.
Sullivan indicated that work may start soon
US National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan hinted during a speech at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy that work on the project could begin soon. He said if you remember nothing else from my speech, remember I2U2, because you will hear more about it as we go forward. He had said that this project, which will further advance America’s economic technology and diplomacy, will connect South Asia, Middle-East and America. According to him, regional integration is an important pillar of the Biden administration’s strategy in the Middle East.
How will India benefit from joining the Blue Dot network?
According to sources, the Government of India wants to be associated with this project because it fulfills three strategic objectives of India. First objective – China has greatly expanded its political influence in the Middle East. Recently, when a peace deal was reached between Saudi Arabia and Iran, mediated by China, it came as a shocker to both India and the US. The Middle-East is very important for India in terms of energy security and the risk of Indian interests in the region being affected by this agreement has increased significantly.
India will be branded as Railway Infra Experter
Now India has got an opportunity to increase its influence in the region by joining this project. By joining this project, India will first play an important role in connecting the Middle East with the rail network, then the countries of the Middle East will be connected to South Asia through sea lanes. With this, oil and gas will reach India at less cost and in less time. Eight million Indians living and working in Gulf countries will also benefit from this project. The second objective is that this project will help in branding India as an infrastructure builder in the railway sector. India has established a strong rail network within the country. In Sri Lanka too, India has helped in setting up the rail network, due to which its confidence has increased that it can play an important role in setting up this project as well.