President Pranab Mukherjee hails elevation of India-UAE ties
New Delhi: President Pranab
Mukherjee on Thursday expressed “great satisfaction” at the elevation of the
relationship between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to a
comprehensive strategic partnership.
The president's remarks came when
Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces
General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is on a three-day visit to
India, called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
“Welcoming the crown prince, the
president conveyed that India shares UAE’s desire for a closer partnership
between the two countries,” a statement issued by the President's Secretariat
Mukherjee said India appreciated
the vision of the crown prince’s father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and
the personal commitment of the crown prince to strengthen bilateral ties with
“President said it was a matter
of great satisfaction that the two countries have decided to elevate their
relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership,” the statement said.
Mukherjee said Prime Minister
Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE in August last year, the first by an Indian
prime minister in 34 years, has resulted in increasing mutual understanding and
bonds of friendship between the two nations.
“The joint statement issued
during that visit reflects the desire to intensify cooperation between the two
countries in a wide range of sectors - political, economic, security as well as
on regional and multilateral issues,” he said.
Mukherjee also expressed
happiness over the establishment of good institutional mechanisms including a
joint commission between India and the UAE and said close collaboration through
these institutional dialogues and mechanisms would address pending issues and
progress cooperation to the desired levels.
Stating that India attached high
priority to enhancing bilateral investment ties with the UAE, Mukherjee said
that through bilateral trade ties between the two countries were growing
satisfactorily, UAE investment in FDI in India - of about $3 billion - is far
below the existing opportunities and potential.
“The president said during the
prime minister’s visit to the UAE, the two countries had agreed that investment
institutions in the UAE would be encouraged to invest in India’s
infrastructure, including through the India-UAE Infrastructure Investment Fund
and a target of $75 billion is set for the same. India looks forward to working
together with UAE to achieve this,” the statement said.
Warmly recollecting his meeting
with the crown prince in May 2008 during his visit to the UAE as the then
external affairs minister, Mukherjee presented the visiting dignitary a
historical photograph of him calling on Sheikh Zayed during the latter’s visit
to New Delhi in 1975.
The crown prince warmly
reciprocated the president’s views and expressed his desire to create a strong
bridge of friendship and cooperation between India and the UAE.
“Although our relationship has
crossed many milestones, that don’t stop us from opening new horizons for this
relationship to grow and prosper,” WAM news agency quoted Sheikh Mohamed as
“We expect all the mutual groups
between the two countries to meet the desire of the leaderships of the two
nations by working on creating new opportunities for economic, developmental
and cultural partnerships," he said.
The two sides also discussed regional
and international developments and exchanged views on issues of mutual