The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict may lead to delays and complications in the India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor project, according to think tank Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI). It said while the conflict’s immediate consequences are confined to Israel and Gaza, its ripple effects throughout the Middle East cannot be underestimated.
GTRI said the conflict could derail the prospect of a historic peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, a crucial linchpin in the India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) framework.
Although Saudi Arabia and Israel have historically maintained no formal diplomatic ties, recent years have witnessed signs of a thaw, with negotiations underway for normalisation, GTRI Co-Founder Ajay Srivastava said, adding that the war may derail any progress made.
“The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict may disrupt the project’s timelines and outcomes, marking a pivotal juncture in the development of this ambitious economic corridor. While the war’s direct impact remains regional, the geopolitical consequences reverberate far beyond, with potential consequences for the proposed corridor,” he added.
IMEEC, a proposed economic corridor, aims to boost economic development by fostering connectivity and economic integration between Asia, the Persian Gulf, and Europe.
The envisioned corridor would span from India to Europe, passing through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Greece.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for this was signed during the G20 summit in New Delhi last month, with participation from governments such as India, the US, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union.
The project’s key goal is to enhance transportation and communication links between Europe and Asia, and it is often viewed as the response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Srivastava added that the disruption in the Middle East, a vital link in this corridor, may lead to delays and complications in the project’s execution.