Parrikar’s UAE visit to broaden defence partnership


Giving impetus to India’s West Asia Policy, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from May 18 to 20.

The visit will focus on bolstering cooperation on defence and security issues with the UAE military and exploring the opportunities of Indian defence manufacturers selling military equipment to the UAE.

Mr Parrikar’s visit will be the first ever formal bilateral visit by a defence minister to the UAE. This follows a visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the country last year.

India has sought to build stronger operational rapport with the UAE’s security and defence structure, which is needed for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations (HADR). In the backdrop of Operation Rahat where Indians stranded in Yemen were evacuated last year, the Indian armed forces had to operate with other militaries in the region. In anticipation of a similar situation arising in the future, India wants its armed forces to be able to operate comfortably with other militaries.

The export of defence equipment has been a major focus for India, and will be a significant component of Mr Parrikar’s visit. During his visits to major industrial and military installations in the UAE, he will also work on strengthening the hydrographic as well as defence industrial cooperation between the two countries.

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