Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make history today by becoming the first Indian premier to visit Palestine.
The subcontinent has long expressed solidarity with the territory’s cause and has invested millions in West Bank infrastructure. However, India has also pursued friendly relations with Israel, engaging in a massive arms trade worth $1 billion a year and accounting for nearly half of Israel’s weapons exports.
For this reason, many have accused India of hypocrisy for heavily supporting Israel while falsely claiming to back Palestinian statehood. Modi is also close to securing a $500 million missile deal with Israel, an agreement which would further tie India’s interests to the region’s.
Due to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year, the US will likely no longer be regarded as a capable mediator. Instead, expect Mr Modi to present India as a neutral actor in the conflict ready to replace the US in peace talks. If successful, the country’s influence in West Asia would increase, enabling for further promotion of Indian interests in the conflict-prone region.
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Taylor provides insight into trade and technology, with a particular focus on North America and the Asia Pacific. He also serves as a copy editor on The Daily Brief.