India, UAE sign 14 pacts to boost strategic ties

India, UAE sign 14 pacts to boost strategic ties

India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday signed a series of pacts to lay the framework for a comprehensive strategic partnership and to step up cooperation in defence, energy, counter-terrorism and other areas.

A meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan – de-facto ruler of UAE – at Hyderabad House here was followed by signing of 14 pacts.

But a proposed Memorandum of Understanding between India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to provide a framework for $75 billion investment flow from the UAE to India could not be inked.

“We have shaped an ambitious roadmap of engagement to make our comprehensive strategic partnership purposeful and action-oriented.

The agreement that was exchanged just now has institutionalised this understanding,” Modi said, while addressing reporters jointly with Sheikh Mohamed, who is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of armed forces of the UAE.

“It’s also refreshing to see how the Indian leadership is keen on strengthening relations with the UAE, which makes me even more confident about the prospects of the Strategic Partnership Agreement that we have signed,” said the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Mohamed is on a visit to New Delhi. He will be the chief guest at the Republic Day ceremony on Thursday. His last visit to New Delhi was in February 2016. Modi had visited Abu Dhabi in August 2015.

The pacts
One of the agreements was inked by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. The agreement will provide a framework for the UAE’s participation in building a strategic petroleum reserve for India. “His Highness and I discussed ways to transform our energy ties in a strategic direction through specific projects and proposals. In this regard, long-term supply contracts and establishment of joint ventures in the energy sector can be beneficial avenues,” said Modi.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Mohammed Al Bawardi, UAE’s Minister of State for Defence, signed and exchanged an MoU on cooperation in defence industry.

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