PM Modi's visit to Abu Dhabi - Intimation of closer ties with UAE

PM Modi's visit to the UAE shows confidence that a strong alliance can be established between the two countries.

Photo (Twitter)

This is Prime Minister Modi's fourth visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since taking office in May 2014, having previously visited the country in August 2015, February 2018 and again in August 2019. The change in India's engagement with the Gulf state is remarkable as the Prime Minister of India has visited the UAE for 34 years since the visit of Mrs. Indira Gandhi in 1981.

The reason for the Prime Minister's fourth visit was to mourn the death of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and to congratulate Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his appointment as ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE. Looking at the issue from the point of view of traditional political protocol, the visit was not necessary. Vice President Shri Venkaiah Naidu had gone to Abu Dhabi on May 15 to pay his condolences to the Government of India on the leadership of the UAE. S. Jaishankar himself had visited the UAE Embassy in New Delhi.

The warmth between the Prime Minister and Sheikh Mohammed is genuine and clear.

Clearly, this is a relationship that has gone beyond the limits of political protocol. The warmth and personal chemistry between the Prime Minister and Sheikh Mohammed is authentic and clear. It is almost three years since their last visit to Abu Dhabi when the Prime Minister was awarded the UAE's highest civilian award, the Order of Zayed. He also promised to visit the Dubai Expo in January but there was an increase in COVID-19 cases related to the Omicron type. The stop on his way back from the G7 summit in Germany will be an opportunity to renew these ties with a one-on-one meeting with Sheikh Mohammed and a meeting with key members of the royal family, including national security advisers and key members from abroad. Minister

Increasing bilateral cordiality

Prime Minister Modi and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed convened one of the most important virtual summits in February 2022 when the two sides signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The two leaders issued an ambitious, visionary joint vision statement entitled "Advancing India and the UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Borders, New Stages".

The CEPA is a milestone, finalized in just 88 days of negotiations, and promises to increase bilateral trade from US $ 60 billion to US $ 100 billion in five years. It came into effect on May 1 and has already started preferential market access for 97 per cent tariff lines, which is 99 per cent of Indian exports to the UAE. It is expected to help Indian exports in areas such as gems and jewelery, textiles, leather, footwear, sports goods, plastics, furniture, agricultural and wood products, engineering products, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and automobiles. It also provides Indian service providers with enhanced access to about 111 sub-sectors in 11 broad service areas. To identify trade and investment opportunities, to brief Indian business leaders on key features of the agreement and to advise small and medium enterprises, A high-level business delegation from the UAE, led by Finance Minister Abdullah bin Touk, arrived in India on May 12. On taking advantage of their provisions. During the visit, DP World and the National Skills Development Council of India signed an agreement to set up a Skill India Center in Varanasi to train local youth in logistics, port operations and related fields so that they can find employment abroad. The agreement was signed in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education and Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Rajiv Chandrasekar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Dr. Ahmed Belhaul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, UAE. DP World and the National Skills Development Council of India signed an agreement to set up a Skill India Center in Varanasi to train local youth in logistics, port operations and related fields so that they can find employment abroad. The agreement was signed in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education and Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Rajiv Chandrasekar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Dr. Ahmed Belhaul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, UAE. DP World and the National Skills Development Council of India signed an agreement to set up a Skill India Center in Varanasi to train local youth in logistics, port operations and related fields so that they can find employment abroad. The agreement was signed in the presence of Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education and Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Rajiv Chandrasekar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Dr. Ahmed Belhaul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, UAE. The agreement was signed in the presence of the Union Minister of Education and the Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Rajiv Chandrasekar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Dr. Ahmed Belhaul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, UAE. The agreement was signed in the presence of the Union Minister of Education and the Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Rajiv Chandrasekar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Dr. Ahmed Belhaul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and SMEs, UAE.

A high-level business delegation from the UAE led by Finance Minister Abdullah bin Touk arrived in India on May 12 to identify trade and investment opportunities, brief Indian business leaders on key features of the agreement and advise small and medium enterprises.

The Vision Statement is also opening up new areas of partnership and one that is moving very fast is IIT Delhi's proposal to establish its first overseas presence through a world-class campus in the UAE. The UAE's weather envoy and Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, also arrived in India on May 26 to sign a memorandum of understanding on the ongoing COP28 climate action to be hosted by Abu Dhabi. Cooperation on technologies that bring a large amount of economy to the production of green hydrogen is an important part of the ongoing conversation.

On the regional front, the rapid normalization of relations between the UAE and Israel since the Abraham Agreement of August 2020 has also opened up new avenues for trilateral and multilateral cooperation. Some Israeli tech companies are already setting up bases in Dubai and trying to marry specific technologies, including Emirati capital and Indian scale. The United States (US) has announced that President Biden's upcoming visit to West Asia will see a virtual summit of a new group of India, Israel, US and UAE: I2U2 initiatives. In October 2021, Dr. During Jaishankar's visit to Tel Aviv, the foreign ministers of the four countries held their first virtual meeting, which focused on joint trade, technology, transport and infrastructure projects.

These positive developments have taken place against the backdrop of confusion created by the remarks made by two BJP office-bearers about the Prophet Mohammad. While Qatar and Kuwait summoned Indian envoys and issued harsh statements, the UAE’s Ministry of External Affairs and International Cooperation adjourned until June 6 before issuing statements condemning the BJP spokesperson’s remarks, and ‘the ministry underlined. Religious symbols must be respected and not violated, as well as hate speech and violence must be dealt with. The ministry also stressed the importance of strengthening shared international responsibility to promote the values ​​of tolerance and human coexistence while preventing any practices that provoke the sentiments of followers of different religions. Unlike some other disgruntled nations, the UAE did not call.

The Ministry also noted the importance of strengthening shared international responsibility to promote the values ​​of tolerance and human coexistence while preventing any practices that provoke the sentiments of followers of different religions.

Over the past few years, the UAE has become India’s closest ally in the Arab world and there is enough flexibility in bilateral relations to cope with the shock caused by the hateful remarks of party spokespersons. By inviting our late External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj as the guest of honor at the OIC Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Abu, the Islamic world also reveals the complete ignorance of her remarks about the significant support given to India by countries like UAE. Dhabi and then standing with us in Jammu and Kashmir after repealing Article 370. Overall, the image of India is ingrained in the hearts and minds of many ordinary emirates. Thousands of Indians living in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere are terrified of the unforeseen injury to their interests. First because of the two statements and then because of the hateful and Islamophobic comments of a section of right-wing trolls on social media. It may be a fringe, but it is a fringe that needs to be bridled.

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