When - or if - completed, a new natural gas pipeline would carry 33 billion cubic metres of gas from Turkmenistan through three South Asian countries.
Pakistan and India would each purchase 42 percent of the gas; the remaining 6 percent would go to Afghanistan. Afghanistan would receive about $400 million per year in transit fees, equal to about 25 percent of the state's total domestic revenue in 2015.
Cultural, diplomatic, and economic exchange has proliferated between India and the Middle East since ancient times. This engagement has continued into the modern era. India has maintained a strong relationship with Egypt, particularly since both countries became the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War. India also maintains bilateral relations with Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the Gulf states, dating back to when the area was known as the Fertile Crescent and when the Arab spice trade dominated the region.
The third India Africa Forum Summit (IAFS) in New Delhi this week, with over 40 African heads of governments and states attending, will be the biggest foreign policy event hosted by India in more than three decades. While this process was partly in response to initiatives by other emerging powers, particularly the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation launched in 2000, it was also a belated recognition that Africa was becoming an indispensable continent for India’s future—one that New Delhi can ignore at its own detriment.
Time was when the annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) jamboree in New York was an entertaining but worthless talkfest used by leaders such as Hugo Chavez, Muammar Gaddafi and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—desperate for their 15 minutes of international fame—to deliver sonorous, rambling grandiose or boorish speeches. More recently, however, the UNGA meeting and related special sessions around it have made the occasion a smidgen more relevant. Coupled with the re-engagement of existing and emerging powers with the proceedings, the UNGA is becoming an important venue for a great power dance.