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Abdullah bin Zayed: UAE-India relations rooted in history

posted on 13/12/2013: 1917 views



New Delhi: In an article for the Delhi daily newspaper, "The Asian Age" coinciding with the beginning of his official visit to India tomorrow, UAE Foreign Minister HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has stressed the importance of promoting UAE-Indian relations.

The newspaper, which also publishes editions in Mumbai, Kolkata and London, sells one million copies a day.

The full text of the article follows: 'Relations between the UAE and India are deeply rooted in history, and it is in the mutual interest of both countries to continue to strengthen these ties.

My visit to India today is a good moment to take stock of our relationship, which is broader and deeper than ever before. Due to its proximity and strategic position, India's presence in the Arabian Gulf region spans centuries. This has enabled our countries to lay a foundation of strong cooperation and develop a vibrant economic relationship over the years.

Bilateral trade and investment have steadily increased; significantly, this has been a two-way street. India is the UAE's largest trading partner and the UAE is India's second largest trading partner in non-oil trade, which stood at almost US$ 75 billion in 2012-2013.

With the emergence of India as the world's third largest economy last year, and simultaneously the UAE witnessing remarkable economic growth, economic trends will continue to reinforce our mutual interdependence.

As impressive as our economic exchanges are, there is far more to the UAE-Indian relationship than trade figures. Today, there are more than 750 weekly flights between our countries and our airlines look forward to continuing to bring our people and nations closer together.

The level and frequency of UAE-India official engagement is high, with many business and government delegations visiting, and regular senior level dialogues on economic, defence, security, and consular matters. It has taken decades to lay this strong bilateral foundation between our countries. The UAE is keen to make the leap into a new phase of the UAE-India relationship and to work together in a number of areas in which we believe closer ties should be forged.

These include a host of regional issues that I wish to discuss with our Indian partners, including those related to regional security, where our countries share a mutual interest in countering the spread of violent extremism and could benefit from coordinating responses.

On 26th November, India marked a grim anniversary: five years since the terrorist attack on Mumbai. The UAE continues to share India's pain at this appalling act of senseless violence; and I wish to reaffirm the UAE's commitment to deepening its partnership with India in the shared struggle against terrorism.

Energy security is a critical interest for India and the UAE is well positioned to partner with India in this regard, through exports of minerals and fuels, energy investment opportunities, or collaboration on developing renewable energy sources. Both our countries stand united in support for ensuring the security of trade flows in our regions.

The UAE looks forward to expanding its collaboration with India on areas of joint interest, such as enhancing cooperation on maritime security and counter-piracy.

More than ever, the UAE and India share a common interest in maintaining effective multilateral cooperation that upholds the rules that act as a force for development across the globe, and promote stability across our regions.

On the occasion of my visit to India, I reaffirm the commitment of the UAE to continue strengthening our relationship.

We look forward to working together to achieve our shared goals as we deepen the bonds between our people and create new opportunities for the future.' – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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