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Indian President arrives in UAE

posted on 19/10/2003: 953 views



President A P J Abdul Kalam of India arrived here Saturday evening on a 3-day official visit during which he will have talks with a number of senior government officials on bilateral cooperation and friendship ties. He was received on arrival by H.H Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and other officials. The visit is seen as reaffirming the strength of relations between the two countries that have grown steadily over the decades since the first Indian businessman arrived here at the turn of the century. Sheikh Khalifa and President Kalam held a round of talks immediately after the arrival of the Indian leader at Abu Dhabi airport.



Shortly after his arrival, the president opened at the Abu Dhabi Industrial City a pharmaceutical company, Neopharma, which is a UAE-Indian joint venture. After opening the company, Kalam went on a tour of the various sections of the plant. Kalam, an acclaimed nuclear scientist who became Indian president in July last year, is the first Indian president to visit the UAE since the late president Fahruddin Ali Ahmed came in 1976. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, UAE President visited India in 1975 as well as in 1992. The late Prime Minister Indira Ghandi visited the UAE in 1981. The senior most Indian official to visit the UAE since then was Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani in 2001.



Apart from trade agreements and economic accords, the two landmark accords between the two countries are a judicial co-operation and extradition agreement signed in 1999 and a defence co-operation protocol signed this year during a high profile visit to India by the UAE Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. (The Gulf Today and Emirates News Agency, WAM)

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