India, UAE discuss security, defence ties at 2nd strategic talks

Last Updated 30 October 2017, 06:20 IST

India and the UAE discussed measures to deepen cooperation in a range of areas, including defence, security, terrorism and trade, as the two countries held the second round of their strategic dialogue in Abu Dhabi.

The Indian delegation was led by Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar while the UAE side was headed by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash.

During the talks, the two delegations expressed satisfaction at the "great progress" achieved in the bilateral relationship.

The two sides discussed defence, investment, security, terrorism, consular matters, energy and technology cooperation, along with regional and other global issues of mutual interest.

The UAE has raised its investment profile in India, and cooperation has increased on security issues, the statement said.

Akbar, who arrived in the UAE on Saturday on a two-day visit, also met Mohammed Bin Ahmad Al Bawardi, Cabinet minister and minister of state for defence affairs, and called on Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chief of the crown prince court and CEO and managing director of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority.

Speaking about the visit, Akbar said, "The strategic dialogue is a very important element in the architecture of our growing relationship with the United Arab Emirates".

"Our discussions today enabled us to review and re-energise the elements of our comprehensive dialogue. This process helps in converting a wish list into outcomes," he said.

Gargash, in his opening statement, said, "We are very satisfied at the growing momentum in the bilateral ties. We appreciate the contribution of Indian community towards the progress and prosperity of the UAE."

The UAE also welcomed India's participation as Guest of Honour at the World Government Summit to be held in February 2018 in Dubai.

Both the sides agreed to hold the third round of the strategic dialogue in New Delhi on mutually convenient dates.

The first round of the India-UAE strategic dialogue was held here in January. The ties between the two countries are on an upswing in the last few years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UAE in August 2015, while Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited India in February last year and in January this year.

The volume of two-way annual trade between the two countries is around $ 53 billion. The UAE is India's third largest trading partner. For the UAE, India has been the largest trading partner.

The UAE is among the top investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments. It contributes significantly to India's energy security and was the fifth-largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2016-17.

About 2.6 million-strong and vibrant Indian community forms the largest expatriate group in the UAE.

(Published 30 October 2017, 06:18 IST)

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