India and UAE had the first meeting of their strategic dialogue on 21 Jan 2017 in New Delhi to enhance the bilateral relationship to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The meeting was conducted between Minister of State (MoS) External Affairs M J Akbar and MoS in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE Anwar Gargash. The first dialogue took place pursuant to the decision to elevate the relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE in August 2015 followed by crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visit to India in February 2016.
Key Highlights of first India-UAE strategic dialogue Two sides discussed several issues ranging from cooperation in the areas of trade and investments to expanding the bilateral cooperation to new areas under the strategic partnership. The news areas include energy security, renewable energy, defence and security, electronics and information technology and space. Both sides also finalised the Strategic Cooperation Agreement aimed at expanding bilateral cooperation to new key areas including energy, defence and security between both countries.
An agreement to this effect opens the doors to new areas of bilateral co-operation.
This bilateral trade agreement between India and the UAE is in the range of $58 billion. India remains UAE’s largest trading partner. The envoy said the UAE is a leading player in ports, airports, highways and construction. “We hope that we can encourage some of the top companies in the UAE to either undertake investments or expand their investments in India, in real estate or petrochemicals.
KC Singh, a former Indian ambassador to the UAE, said that: “The UAE would like clarity on the Indian approach to Iran, and India would likewise want to assess the UAE’s relations with Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
Security and business aside, there are many common factors that naturally bind the two countries together – from their recognition of the need to develop sustainable energy to their rejection of any link between religion and terrorism, their mutual respect for the principles of national sovereignty and their focus on knowledge economy.
Based on these shared values and objectives, the two countries now have a solid ground to take their relationship to the next level. The success will take many forms – greater regional security and stability, partnership in clean energy and advanced technology and greater economic prosperity.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi will visit on 26 Jan 2017, New Delhi as Chief Guest at this year’s Republic Day parade and this open more ways to have agreements with UAE in future.