Your Highness Sheikh
Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan,
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi,
Friends from the Media,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome to India a dear friend, His
Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan . We are delighted that His
Highness has come back to India on his second State visit. And, with his
participation as our honoured Chief Guest in the Republic Day
Celebrations tomorrow this visit is particularly special. Your Highness,
I warmly recall our earlier meetings in August 2015, and in February
last year. Our discussions were wide ranging covering the entire
spectrum of our bilateral engagement. Personally, I benefitted immensely
from your perspective of our partnership, your appreciation of our
region and your world view. Your Highness, under your leadership, we
have been successful in creating new synergies in our ties. 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 institutionalized this understanding.
UAE is one of our most valued partners and a close friend in an
important region of the world. I have just concluded very fruitful and
productive discussions with His Highness. We particularly focused on
implementation of various decisions taken during our last two meetings.
We agreed to sustain the momentum of our relations in key areas,
including energy and investments.
We regard UAE as an important partner in India’s growth story. I
particularly welcome UAE’s interest in investing in India’s
infrastructure sector. We are working to connect the institutional
investors in UAE with our National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. I
also shared with His Highness the interest of Indian companies to be a
partner in infrastructure projects for the World EXPO 2020 in Dubai. UAE
can benefit by linking with our growth in manufacturing and services. We
can jointly tap abundant opportunities in our initiatives aimed at
building digital economy, human capital and smart urbanization in India.
We are also encouraging and facilitating business and industry of both
countries to increase the quality and quantum bilateral trade. The
agreement on trade remedies signed today would strengthen our trade
partnership further. Our energy partnership, is an important bridge in
our linkages. It contributes to our energy security. 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.
Security and defence cooperation have added growing new dimensions to
our relationship. We have agreed to expand our useful cooperation in the
field of defence to new areas including in the maritime domain. The MoU
on Defence Cooperation, signed earlier today, will help steer our
defence engagements in the right direction. We also feel that our
growing engagement in countering violence and extremism is necessary for
securing our societies.
His Highness and I believe that our closer ties are of importance, not
just to both our countries. They are also of significance to the entire
neighbourhood. Our convergence can help stabilize the region. And, our
economic partnership can be a source of regional and global prosperity.
We exchanged views on developments in West Asia and the Gulf, where both
countries have a shared interest in peace and stability. We also
discussed developments in our region, including Afghanistan. Our shared
concern on growing threat from radicalism and terrorism to the safety
and security of our people is shaping our cooperation in this space.
UAE is home to around 2.6 million Indians. Their contributions are
deeply valued both in India and in UAE. I expressed gratitude to His
Highness for looking after the welfare of Indian nationals in UAE. I
also thanked His Highness for allotting land for a temple for the Indian
diaspora in Abu Dhabi.
The success of our partnership owes greatly to the personal interest
taken by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of
UAE and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed. Moving forward, our cooperation
stands poised for a major take off. I am confident, Your Highness, that
your visit will build on the strong gains and understanding of our
previous interactions. And, shape its future framework marked by depth,
drive and diversification of our partnership. In closing, I would like
to thank His Highness for accepting my invitation to visit India. I wish
him and all the delegation members a very pleasant stay in India.
Thank you. Thank you very much.