PM Modi is in the UAE to express his condolences on the death of former President Sheikh Khalifa.
Prime Minister Modi is on a brief visit to the UAE after having attended the G7 summit in Munich, Germany. On reaching Abu Dhabi, he met UAE President Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and had a warm welcome from the royal family. During his meeting with the UAE’s President, PM Modi extended his condolences on the demise of former President Sheikh Khalifa, who died on May 13th after a long illness.
Sheikh Khalifa was the eldest son of the United Arab Emirates’ founding President, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. From November 3, 2004, until his death, he was the President of the United Arab Emirates and the ruler of Abu Dhabi. He had expressed sadness over Sheikh Khalifa’s death, describing him as a great statesman and visionary leader who helped India-UAE relations flourish. It was the first interaction following the new election in the UAE.
Because of recent controversies in India involving BJP leaders’ controversial remarks, India was rolled and, to some extent, disappointed the Gulf countries. To this, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra replied, “As far as the prophet issue is concerned, almost all Middle East countries have an understanding of India’s position.” We have communicated out loud on various platforms. I don’t think that will be taken forward anymore. The UAE was the first country to reiterate relations with India after the incident.
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Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu visited the UAE last month and expressed condolences to the UAE leadership on the death of Sheikh Khalifa.
PM Modi visited the UAE in August 2019. During this time, he was awarded the UAE’s highest honor, the “Order of Zayed,” by the UAE President. The UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner after China and the USA. The largest ethnic community in the UAE is the Indian expatriate community, which accounts for approximately 35% of the country’s population.
According to ANI, before Modi’s visit, Foreign Secretary Kwatra addressed the media and stated that “security, education, and investment are among areas of discussion between India and the UAE, and bilateral ties are dynamic, robust, and widespread.” He goes on to say that education and security are important pillars of our relationship, and that connecting person is another aspect of cooperation between the two countries.
Modi’s visit to Abu Dhabi can be seen as the recapitulation of the strategic ties between the two countries. During a meeting, the two leaders discussed the various aspects of a comprehensive strategic partnership that has deepened over the past years. In the last virtual meeting between the two countries in February, Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement was signed, which is intended and expected to take bilateral trade to $100 billion, and came into effect from May 1. And it is looking forward to improving the partnership in the coming years.
India’s fine line walk between Arab allies and cooperation with Israel has relaxed significantly. The two countries also are looking forward to meeting in mid-July India, Israel, the USA, and the UAE on the sidelines of the summit of 12U2, which is also called the Middle Eastern Quad. Discussions will be centered on strengthening trade ties, collaborating on the region’s maritime security, coordinating efforts for global public health, and collaborating on transportation and technology infrastructure projects.