Upgrading their relationship to a special status, India and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday signed the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) agreement that will see closer collaboration and synergy between the two countries particularly in the areas of defence, cyber space and counter-terrorism.
The agreement was part of the 14 pacts signed between the two nations in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the visiting Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, following their bilateral talks. The other agreements included joint defence production, cyber space and maritime cooperation. In a special arrangement, the two leaders also decided to cut down on procedural delays and work expeditiously in prevention of human trafficking and speeding up rescue, recovery and repatriation of victims particularly women and
"Our Strategic Partnership Agreement will make our relationship stronger at the political, security and economic levels," Al Nahyan said in a joint press conference with Modi after the bilateral talks.
Modi said transforming energy ties in strategic direction and Afghanistan also came up for discussions. "Our shared concern on growing threat from radicalisation and terrorism is shaping our cooperation. The MoU on defence cooperation will help steer our defence ties in right direction. We also feel that our growing engagement in countering violence and extremism is necessary for securing our societies. Our closer ties are of importance, not just to both our countries but to the entire neighbourhood. Our convergence can help stabilise the region," the PM said.
The agreement on defence paves way for deeper collaboration including joint ventures in defence production and research while the Cooperation on Maritime Transport will provide a framework for enhancing bilateral maritime trade ties through facilitating maritime transport, free transfer of monies between contracting parties and reciprocal recognition of ships' documents.
Prior to their delegation-level talks at Hyderabad House, Modi and the Crown Prince held a one-on-one meeting for nearly one hour discussing issues pertaining to counter-terrorism and security situation in the South Asian region. Sources said PM hosting Al Nahyan at his residence was a special honour bestowed on the crown prince. The two leaders later also took a small stroll in the lush Hyderabad House lawns prior to their delegation level talks. In Dubai, as a special honour, the Burj Khalifa was decorated with the Indian tri-colour with a spectacular illumination through special lED lights.
Terming UAE as a valued partner in India's growth story, and a close friend Modi said the leaders have agreed to sustain the momentum of relations in key areas, including energy and investments. PM also welcomed UAE's interest in investing in India's infrastructure sector.