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Jaishankar In UAE On Second Foreign Trip Of Second Term; “Explores Collaboration In International Organisations”

Apart from his meetings with senior UAE officials, Dr Jaishankar also joined the 10th International Day of Yoga celebrations in Abu Dhabi, and visited  the BAPS Hindu Mandir,
UAE, United Arab Emirates, India, external affairs minister, S Jaishankar,
External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar meets his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi/MOFA Gov UAE

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar is in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). This is his second trip abroad since taking office for his second term on June 10. His first trip was to Sri Lanka, where he called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena on June 20.

Dr Jaishankar was received at the Abu Dhabi airport by his counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The UAE Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the EAM’s visit. It said both Foreign Ministers had a working dinner in Abu Dhabi. “They reviewed progress made in various areas of bilateral cooperation. Sheikh Abdullah and Dr. Jaishankar explored the two countries’ efforts to strengthen joint cooperation in all sectors. The sectors include economy and trade, investment, education, culture, health, food security, renewable energy, and climate change. Sheikh Abdullah stressed that the UAE and India share a strong and strategic partnership. This is marked by growing momentum in bilateral cooperation. Our collaboration, he added, is aimed at achieving comprehensive development. And ensuring sustainable economic prosperity for both nations and their citizens.”

“In 2017, the relationship between the two countries was elevated to a comprehensive strategic partnership. This significant development further deepened and strengthened the already strong ties based on a solid foundation of mutual understanding, trust, respect, and shared interests,” Sheikh Abdullah noted.

“The UAE-India Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), launched in May 2022, has significantly boosted economic and trade cooperation in a way that supports the national development goals of both countries,” he added.

“In a related context, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah and Dr. Jaishankar explored areas for collaboration within international organisations, while also exchanging views on current regional and international developments, including the situation in the Middle East.”

After the meeting, the EAM tweeted, “Productive and deep conversations on our ever-growing Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Appreciated the discussion and insights on regional and global issues”

Earlier, a terse three sentence release from the Ministry of External Affairs said the “visit will provide an opportunity to review the entire spectrum of comprehensive strategic partnership between India and UAE and regional and global developments.” Sources said this would include the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

Apart from his meetings with senior UAE officials, Dr Jaishankar also joined the 10th International Day of Yoga celebrations in Abu Dhabi, and visited  the BAPS Hindu Mandir, which he described as “A visible symbol of India-UAE friendship, it radiates a positive message to the world and is a true cultural bridge between our two countries.”

The strong and friendly bilateral relations between the UAE and India was upgraded to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during a visit by Prime Minister Modi to the UAE.

Subsequently, the two countries inked a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in February 2022 and a Local Currency Settlement (LCS) System in July 2023 to promote the use of Indian Rupee and AED for cross-border transactions.

The strength of the relationship can be gauged from the fact that over the past 10 months alone, there have been three visits to the UAE by Prime Minister Modi and two visits by MBZ to India.

The inauguration of the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Abu Dhabi in February 2024 further strengthened these ties. Built on a sprawling 27 acres gifted by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the then Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces in August 2015, it is the first full-fledged Hindu temple in the country.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, (or MBZ, as he is often referred to) who became President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi following the death of his brother in May 2022, greeted Prime Minister with a warm hug when he arrived to inaugurate the temple, and Modi in turn described MBZ as “my brother.”

In 2023, the UAE, along with Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and Saudi Arabia, became a full member of BRICS, the acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, a group of emerging-market nations.

“The UAE will be an important partner in BRICS since it has both resources in Abu Dhabi and a major financial centre in Dubai,” Amit Gupta, senior adviser, Forum of Federations in Ottawa, told StratNewsGlobal.

For India, “it could also could be an important partner in weapons development,” he added, pointing out that the UAE was trying to set up its own arms manufacturing and a space program, and had sought collaboration with India.

An earlier MEA release noted that “the two countries are among each other’s top trading partners with a bilateral trade of about US$ 85 billion in 2022-23.

“UAE is also among the top 4 investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments in 2022-23, ” and “about 3.5 million strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in UAE,” it added.

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