India, UAE upgrade ties to strategic partnership, focus on terror

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates has been a game-changer of sorts, transforming New Delhi’s relationship with its key economic partner in the energy-rich Gulf region. In a major leap forward, the two countries elevated their relationship to comprehensive strategic partnership that entails closer counter-terror cooperation and deepening of security and economic ties across the spectrum. “The visit of an Indian Prime Minister to UAE after 34 years marks the beginning of a new and comprehensive strategic partnership between India and UAE in a world of multiple transitions and changing opportunities and challenges,” said the joint statement after wide-ranging talks between Mr Modi and the top leadership of the UAE. Here are key outcomes and highlights of the joint statement that maps out the future trajectory of the India-UAE relationship.

Elevate the India-UAE relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
The rapidly expanding economic partnership makes India UAE’s second largest trading partner and UAE India’s third largest trading partner, thus making it a gateway for India to the region.
The two countries have the potential to build a transformative economic partnership, not only for sustained prosperity of their two countries, but to also advance progress in the region and help realise the vision of an Asian Century.

A common vision of progress and prosperity faces challenges from many shared threats to peace, stability and security in the region. A shared endeavour to address these challenges, based on common ideals and convergent interests, is vital for the future of the two countries and their region.

The two nations also rejected extremism and any link between religion and terrorism condemning efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries. They also deplored efforts by countries to give religious and sectarian colour to political issues and disputes, including in West and South Asia, and use terrorism to pursue their aims.

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PM Modi flags off $1 trillion dream for UAE investors

Drumming up the India growth story in the Gulf dynamo, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted investors in the United Arab Emirates to cash in on an “immediate investment opportunity of USD 1 trillion in India.”

During his visit to Masdar city, a zero-carbon city, near Abu Dhabi, UAE, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an investor meet where he underlined huge opportunities spawned by India’s growing economy and called for dovetailing UAE’s power and India’s potential to make it an Asian century.

Citing reports by major global institutions such as World Bank, IMF, Moodys, Mr Modi said India is the world’s fastest growing economy and has a huge potential to develop. “On one hand India is growing fast and on the other hand, the world is looking at Asia. But is Asia complete without UAE? I can clearly see that the UAE should be at the centre of mainstream of things in Asia. UAE’s power and India’s potential can make it Asia’s century,” he told top business leaders from the UAE.

Alluding to lethargy and indecisiveness that was seen in policy-making during previous governments in New Delhi, the prime minister said his government has got some legacy problems and his immediate priority would be to kick-start the economic reforms process.

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Modi’s Gulf diplomacy: India, UAE join hands to combat Islamic State

Against the backdrop of the emergence of the Islamic State as the top security threat to the region, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has called for intensifying counter-terror cooperation with the United Arab Emirates, the first Gulf country he has visited after taking charge in May last year.

As Mr Modi arrived in the UAE on a two-day visit on August 16, the first visit by an Indian prime minister to the Gulf dynamo in 34 years, he was accorded a grand welcome and was received by none other than the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his five brothers.

Speaking about the agenda of his visit, Mr Modi said in an in an interview to Khaleej Times that he wanted to see the UAE as India’s top partner in trade and counter-terrorism, while noting that both countries had a range of common security and strategic concerns in the region including extremism. “We have a range of common security and strategic concerns in the region, including terrorism and extremism. So India and UAE have everything to be a top priority for each other. This is the way I look at the UAE. The Gulf region is vital for India’s economic, energy and security interests,” he said.

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