India-UAE ties turn strategic-plus, poised for take-off

The relations between India and the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf’s economic powerhouse and home to 2.6 million Indians, are poised for a take-off with the two countries signing a transformative comprehensive strategic partnership agreement and a clutch of pacts straddling diverse areas, ranging from defence, maritime transport and energy to trade, logistics and cyber security.
Underlining the increasing salience of the Gulf region in India’s diplomatic calculus, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the chief guest for the country’s 68th Republic Day celebrations. Sheikh Al Nahyan is only the third leader from the energy-rich region India has hosted for the Republic Day, and signals a marked acceleration in ongoing efforts by New Delhi to shape a greater West Asia policy.
The talks in New Delhi on January 25 were all-encompassing and promises to pack more strategic heft and economic ballast in the burgeoning relationship between India and UAE.
The showpiece outcome was the elevation of India-UAE ties to the level of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP), which firmly positions the Gulf’s second largest economy as India’s preeminent partner in the region in both strategic and economic arenas.
On the strategic side, the agreement on defence industry cooperation is significant as it envisages joint manufacturing of high-end weapons systems and transfer of technology.
Taking a long-range view, another key outcome emanating from the talks in New Delhi was to impart a fresh push to the ongoing economic transformation of the India-UAE relationship, with PM Modi identifying the UAE as “an important partner in India’s growth story.”
In a move that will be closely watched in Pakistan, India and the UAE have also renewed their strategic resolve to intensify their cooperation in counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation. Read more…

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Charming Dubai: UAE awaits Modi the performer

Barely a day after unfurling the tricolour at the majestic Red Fort in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fly down to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for his first visit to the energy-rich and enterprising Gulf region, home to the 7-million strong Indian diaspora. Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the two cities Mr Modi will visit on August 16 and 17, are looking to roll out the red carpet for Mr Modi, who will become the first Indian prime minister to visit the country in 34 years after Indira Gandhi.

The focus will be on intensifying economic ties across the spectrum, but the show-stealer will be clearly the grand public event at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, where around 40,000 people, mostly Indians, will be all eyes and ears to see and hear the man who has carved a reputation for himself as a stage performer. In an act reminiscent of Madison Square Avenue panache, PM Modi is expected to enthrall them with his inspiring rhetoric, exhorting them to contribute their bit to the resurgence to the motherland.

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