UAE President hails Indian community's contribution

Patil is on a nine-day, two-nation visit to the UAE and Syria, aimed at enhancing economic and energy ties with the region. Apart from Abu Dhabi in the UAE, she would travel to Dubai and Sharjah.

The UAE president Monday received Patil at the Mushrif Palace, where she inspected a guard of honour. Patil was given a 21-gun salute and India's national anthem was played.

Sheikh Khalifa welcomed Patil on her first state visit to the UAE. He said the visit "reflects the depth of cooperation, friendship and historic links between the UAE and India". "The visit will open more avenues for cooperation between the two countries."

He stressed the role of India in achieving peace and security in Asia.

The talks between the two leaders included a wide range of topics in politics, economy, culture, science and current regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The two sides underscored the significance of regional and international cooperation in boosting worldwide peace, security and stability.

Patil expressed her pleasure about visiting the UAE and hailed the historic relations between the two nations. She thanked the UAE leadership for the hospitality meted out to the Indian work force.

Sheikh Khalifa later hosted banquet in Patil's honour.

Patil arrived Sunday evening in Abu Dhabi, where she was received by UAE Minister for Foreign Trade Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi, the UAE's ambassador to India Mohammed Sultan Abdullah Al-Owais and Indian ambassador to the UAE M.K. Lokesh.

The Indian president Sunday told WAM that India and the UAE have witnessed rapid modernisation of their societies and economies.

"We share common destiny in the contemporary world and we have much to gain by intensifying our cooperation with each other. We have a huge stake in each other's success, and to that extent ours is a relationship that is of strategic importance," she said.

"We have achieved the status of being each other's largest trading partner. There is need for greater integration of our economies, higher flow of trade and investment. Cooperation in energy and environment are assuming importance in our relations as also cooperation in counter-terrorism, tackling the global economic crisis, education. UAE is important for our energy security," she said.

Patil heads to Syria Nov 26. This will be the first presidential visit to that country from India. She will hold delegation-level talks with President Bashar Al Assad in Damscus.

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