UAE Hails PM Modi's Upcoming Visit To Inaugurate Temple In Abu Dhabi - Vibes Of India

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UAE Hails PM Modi’s Upcoming Visit To Inaugurate Temple In Abu Dhabi

| Updated: February 12, 2024 11:34

UAE has hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming two-day visit to the country for the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, calling it a “special occasion”.

Abdulnasser Alshaali, UAE’s Ambassador to India, said it “aligns with the values of tolerance and acceptance that guide our bilateral ties”.

PM Modi’s February 13-14 visit to the UAE will be his third in last eight months and the seventh since 2015. He will hold bilateral meetings with President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discuss ways to further deepen, expand and strengthen the strategic partnership between the countries and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

Modi will also meet Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is the Vice President, Prime Minister and Defence Minister of the UAE. The PM will participate in the World Government Summit 2024 in Dubai as Guest of Honour and deliver a special keynote address at the Summit.

Ambassador Alshaali said, “The UAE views Prime Minister Modi’s upcoming visit to inaugurate the BAPS Hindu temple as a special occasion that aligns with the values of tolerance and acceptance that guide our bilateral ties.”

“The visit holds symbolic importance, showcasing the friendship between the two nations,” he said, adding that the UAE valued the cultural diversity represented by the Indian diaspora, the largest group in the UAE with a population of 3.5 million.

Beyond the opening of the BAPS Hindu temple, the UAE, he said, has a strong expectation that the meeting between the two leaders “will be positive and constructive”.

“It is likely we will witness the announcement of further cooperation in key areas of our bilateral partnership.”

The two countries, according to the MEA, 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.

On the increasing economic collaboration between the two countries, Alshaali said, “The UAE prioritises its bilateral and diplomatic ties with India based upon the two countries’ common political, economic, and diplomatic interests, desire to promote peace and prosperity in the international arena, and deep shared history.”

The Indian Cabinet recently approved the Bilateral Investment Treaty between the two countries. “This treaty reflects the joint efforts to transform the relationship from a traditional import-export dynamic to a strategic partnership. The emphasis on defence, energy, space, and IT sectors highlights the forward-looking nature of our relationship,” the Ambassador said.

“It is difficult to emphasise just how important trade relations are in driving the UAE-India bilateral partnership forward. In recent years, we have witnessed not only quantitative, but also qualitative growth across all aspects of our economic relationship,” he said.

“The proof of this is borne out by the fact that the UAE is India’s fourth-largest investor, third-largest trading partner, and the second-largest export destination.”
“Of course, for the bilateral relationship to reach its true potential, increasing aviation links will play a vital role in enhancing investment and trade opportunities,” he said.

On the contribution of the diaspora and geopolitical considerations to the strengthening of ties, Alshaali said all these aspects play a critical yet unique role in driving what is a robust bilateral relationship.

“The UAE government and its people acknowledge the immense role Indian citizens have played in our national development since even before the very formation of the UAE in 1971,” he said, adding “there is a personal level of familiarity and understanding between our two societies that serves as the foundation stone for our close government-to-government ties”.

The two countries, he said, also share an interest in supporting peace and stability at both the regional and international levels.

“Both countries are impacted by the growing turbulence we are witnessing across a number of different contexts. Our commitment to working closely together is unflinching, and will only grow stronger in the years ahead,” he said.

On how the UAE views India’s political stability, especially when general elections are approaching, Alshaali said India plays a significant role in global politics, and is a critical partner to the UAE, as demonstrated by the UAE President’s visit to the Vibrant Gujarat last month.

“The UAE values India’s political stability, which has been essential to the fostering of strong partnerships and collaboration between our two countries,” he said.

Bilateral relations between the two countries have been elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Both countries signed 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.

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