Modi's UAE visit to lift ties: Envoy
File photo of T.P. Seetharam
Dubai - "We have been preparing for this historic visit for quite some time. All of us at the Embassy and the Consulate are working very hard to make it a very successful visit."
The two-day visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE, the host country of 2.65 million Indian migrants, is expected to result in taking the relationship between the two countries to a higher level, said India's top diplomat in the Emirates.
T.P. Seetharam, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, told Khaleej Times that several bilateral, regional and global issues would be covered in discussions at the highest levels between leaders of the two nations.
"We already have an excellent bilateral relationship which has been nurtured over time. Our prime minister's visit is expected to result in transforming the relationship to a higher level," he said.
"We have been preparing for this historic visit for quite some time. All of us at the Embassy and the Consulate are working very hard to make it a very successful visit," Seetharam said.
"We are getting excellent cooperation from the UAE authorities and the Indian community to make the visit a memorable one. I am delighted that this long-awaited visit is happening during my term here as Ambassador of India," the envoy said.
When asked about the specific topics on the leaders' agenda, the Ambassador said: "You can expect more detailed briefings from New Delhi before the visit as well as briefings by senior officials accompanying the Prime Minister during the visit itself."
Preparations in full swing
Preparations for the historic visit are going in full swing at the Dubai Cricket Stadium, said Dr B.R. Shetty, chairman of NMC Healthcare and spokesman of the organising committee.
"The Dubai reception is set to be one of the most spectacular public meetings organised for a global leader. Given the overwhelming public enthusiasm, we expect the total registrations to cross 60,000, which will be a record for a visiting leader in a foreign country," said Dr Shetty.
Work on air conditioning the cricket stadium is also making headway. "We are sparing no efforts to make this historic event an unforgettable one for all Indians," said Dr Shetty.
It is also reliably learnt that the Indian leader would visit a labour camp in Abu Dhabi to learn first-hand the living conditions of the Indian workforce.
According to informed sources in New Delhi, Modi's visit would help kickstart several new joint initiatives to further boost the strong economic and political relations between the two powerful economies enjoying decades of thriving trade and investment ties.
Talks between leaders of two countries are expected to result in expediting the implementation of certain pacts that have already been inked. These include prisoner swap and bilateral investment protection agreement.
India's ongoing talks with the Gulf countries on finalising a Free Trade Agreement are also expected to get a new kickstart with the Indian leader's visit.
It is widely expected that attracting more foreign direct investments to India will be a key focus of the Indian leader's discussions. Several key bilateral treaties are expected to be inked.
A food security agreement is also on the agenda. It is leant that Modi's visit will pave the way for further expanding the Indian mission's services to the large Indian diaspora, said sources.