UAE-India mark new chapter

The state visit by the Indian President Pratibha Patil to the UAE got off to a flying start when she met with the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in what was described as a very warm and cordial atmosphere.

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Published: Tue 23 Nov 2010, 9:06 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:47 PM

The Indian president was fulsome in her praise for the enormous strides taken by the UAE in recent years and recognised its pragmatic leadership and its role in the region as well as on the global stage.

President Khalifa placed on record the profound role of Indian expats in nation building, which is a very heartening message. He rightly stressed the role India plays in achieving peace and security in the Indian Ocean and also its standing in the comity of nations, ostensibly a reference to the sub-continental giant as a power that has emerged.

The UAE, home to the largest single contingent of Indians in every job description possible, also recognises that India is now a spearhead of the future markets and a nation of immense power and presence. President Patil echoed much the same sentiment in lauding the UAE’s role in bolstering international peace and security and called for even more enhancement in regional co-operation, all comments that are certain to foster not just goodwill for the now but a long-term strategic partnership in moving forward together.

With both nations having similar views on security, peace and the common enemies of mankind like disease, poverty and injustice, the new era in the relationship being shaped in the next 48 hours will certainly ensure that these two countries not only positively exploit a closeness that is rooted deep in the centuries of the past but move forward to the same beat in tackling the problems of tomorrow. These include climate change, the handling of terrorism through a sharing of intelligence, the dispensation of narcotics and criminal activity, including a zero tolerance assurance on the issue of mutual extradition, all of which will create the right basis for the fruition of other co-operative ventures in which India and the UAE can both benefit.

With peace in the region and stability at the epicenter in Asia the need for nations such as these to speak with one voice and generate influence of the right sort, it is necessary to share views and use global and regional forums effectively. The UAE is an integrally vital member of the GCC, the Arab League and has made powerful representations in the UN on matters of international importance. India will naturally like to see the UAE as a friend and ally. With the massive Indian presence in situ the UAE also sees that as a bridge to a wider market, a potentially exponential market in which to invest especially in the areas of communication, energy, power and education as well as trade and commerce. The message from both leaders comes out strongly. Partners in business but above all, friends first and always.

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