Interaction on Middle East and Oil
Asian Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Affairs (AIDIA) organized an interactive session on “Understanding the Oil and Middle East Geo-Politics and Its Impact in South-Asia “with Ambassador Anil Trigunayat, Distinguished Fellow of Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) India.
Chief Guest Ambassador Anil Trigunayat opened the session with three significance of Middle East towards south Asia first, the energy supply, second, huge Diaspora and third amount of remittances contribution to the respective South Asian countries.
Ambassador Anil emphasized greater significance of the energy security. Since, it was first discovered in Iran in 1970 after that lots of development and growth is seen in the country, simply because of the oil. After the use of oil in the weapon in 1973, a huge threat and a major problem has aroused creating problem for South Asia and even US. Consequently, this scenario also worked as a catalyst for search of the alternative energy, UAE itself has realized the urgency of running out and of the energy hence, adopting a sustainable means by planting the largest solar panel in the country, he said.
The envoy also explained about Shia-Sunni divide and power politics for regime changes in region. The question that triggered in the session was that the capability of whole Middle East to harness the nuclear power but with the instable politics and the power of nuclear weapon what the world awaits is inevitable. He said while the Middle East is going through the unstable regime and religious turbulence the policy of United States under Trump has adopted the maximalist policy regarding the Middle East. The sanctions on Iran oil through US is going to create a huge impact in the South Asia. While the war is waiting to happen, the Middle East region will less think about the global peace and energy fulfilment but more of enriching their own ego and maintain their supremacy, he stressed. “If war is the only choice of the Middle East region then the biggest impact will be directed towards India subsequently followed by the other South Asian Region.”
Shyam KC from AIDIA highlighted the direct correlation between flow of South-Asian labor migration in the Middle-East and the boom of oil industry there. In this backdrop, crisis in Middle-East not only disrupt the global oil market, it will also have some effect in South-Asian economy, particularly in the remittance inflow. Correspondingly, Nepal having tremendous hydroelectricity potential at its disposal, use of oil is still the dominant energy resource especially for transport sector. So, it is imperative to understand the global oil market and existing geopolitics of oil, KC added.
Ganesh Shah, Former Minister and Standing Committee Member of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) chaired the session and the program was attended by policy makers, government authorities, business and private sector representatives, economic and geopolitical experts, academicians.