Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, is a very special guest attending India’s 68th Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi today. The presence of the Crown Prince here shows India-UAE relations have transformed in recent years. Prince Zayed himself notes this in an article in ‘The Nation’.
WATCH VIDEO | Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Explains How India-UAE Ties Transformed In 2 Years
The Prince writes that both countries have “built a bond of friendship” that has allowed India-UAE to shed the traditional approach of “incremental progress” in the last two years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014.
According to the Prince, both countries are using “ centuries of accumulated goodwill and understanding” to give a “bold new vision” to the bilateral partnership. This transformation is in line with Father of the UAE late Sheikh Zayed bin Nahyan had predicted in 1970.
Sheikh Nahyan had said relations between both countries dated back to 4,000 years. “Now that we are about to be independent, we would like these bonds to be restored and strengthened in every possible way – there are boundless possibilities for trade, commerce, even joint projects.”
Here are some of the points highlighted by the Crown Prince:
Comprehensive Strategic Partnership
Both countries had an extensive discussion on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in Abu Dhabi in August, 2015 and in New Delhi in February, 2016. It lays a roadmap to “restore and strengthen historic ties but also looks at several entirely new areas of cooperation,” says the Prince.
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The prince says that both countries have rejected religious extremism and the “atmosphere of hate and terror” it has produced. India-UAE have decided to improve defence cooperation, expand the scope of training programmes for forces, increase joint exercises and explore opportunities for co-production of defence materials.
A contingent of UAE Air Force is also marching as part of the Republic Day parade in New Delhi today.
“India is the UAE’s largest trading partner and for India, the UAE ranks third after the United States and China.”
UAE wants to encourage its companies to participate in India’s mission to develop highways, ports, airports and logistics hubs. The countries are also exploring innovative approaches in the equally important area of food security, says the Prince. “The UAE plans to join the Indo-French initiative to establish an International Solar Alliance and India is an ardent advocate and partner of the Abu Dhabi-based International Renewable Energy Agency, Irena.”
Indian Space Research Organisation and the UAE Space Agency are in talks for cooperation. The UAE also has space ambitions and want to work together with the country.