UAE, India sign 14 MoUs in strategic sectors
The meeting was focused on the implementation of agreements made during two previous meetings, in February 2015 and August 2015. (AFP/Money Sharma)
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The UAE and India have shaped "an ambitious roadmap of engagement" for the future and created new "synergy" in ties between the two nations, according to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Modi's comments came as the UAE and India signed 14 new Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) and agreements covering a variety of areas, ranging from an agreement on a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which has "institutionalized" the understanding between the two countries to defence and maritime cooperation, cyberspace, energy, Small and Medium Enterprises and agriculture.
In his remarks delivered at New Delhi's Hyderabad House alongside His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nayan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Modi said that the meeting was focused on the implementation of agreements made during two previous meetings, in February 2015 and August 2015.
"We agreed to sustain the momentum of our relations in key areas, including energy and investments," he said. "We regard UAE as an important partner in India's growth story."
Importantly, Modi noted that the two countries "are working to connect institutional investors in the UAE with our National Investment Fund", and conveyed to Sheikh Mohamed the interest that Indian investors, for their part, have in becoming partners for infrastructure projects in the UAE for Expo 2020.
"We can jointly tap abundant opportunities in our initiatives aimed at building digital economy, human capital and smart urbanization in India," he added. "We are also encouraging and facilitating business and industry of both countries to increase the quality and quantum bilateral trade."
Security was also high on the agenda at the meeting.
"We have agreed to expand our useful cooperation in the field of defence to new areas including in the maritime domain. The MoU on Defence Cooperation, signed earlier today, will help steer our defence engagements in the right direction," Modi noted. "We also feel that our growing engagement in countering violence and extremism is necessary for securing our societies."
Good relations between India and the UAE, Modi said, will ultimately benefit "the entire neighbourhood", in which both countries share an interest in maintaining peace and stability, whether in the West Asia, the Gulf, or Afghanistan.
"Our convergence can help stabilize the region and our economic partnership can be a source of regional and global prosperity," he said. "Our shared concern on growing threat from radicalism and terrorism to the safety and security of our people is shaping our cooperation in this space."
Lastly, Modi thanked Sheikh Mohamed for "looking after the welfare" of the 2.6 million members of the Indian diaspora who call the UAE home, and for his allocation of land for a temple in Abu Dhabi.
"Moving forward, our cooperation stands poised for a major take off," Modi told Sheikh Mohamed. "I am confident..that your visit will build on the strong gains and understanding of our previous interactions, and shape its future framework marked by depth, drive and diversification of our partnership."
By Bernd Debusmann Jr.
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