Defence Production, Nuclear Deals Between India, UAE on the Cards

The crown prince has a meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee and then with Indian business leaders in Mumbai. 

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Narendra Modi with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. (Photo: PTI)

A slew of agreements, including on defence equipment manufacturing and civil nuclear cooperation, are likely to be signed between India and the UAE. Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday on a three-day visit.

The relationship between India and the UAE was elevated to comprehensive strategic partnership during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE in August last year. Now, there is focus on new areas of cooperation like defence production in India, security, counter-terrorism, in nuclear and space sector, in energy sector, according to Anil Wadhwa, secretary (east) in the external affairs ministry.

A number of new agreements and MoUs are proposed to be signed during the visit of the crown prince to expand the areas of our cooperation. Negotations are still on. 
Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (east), External Affairs Ministry

The welfare of the expatriate Indians in the United Arab Emirates, numbering around 2.6 million, is also likely to come up for discussion, he said.

After Saudi Arabia, the UAE hosts the highest number of Indians in the Gulf.

This is the second highest level visit to India from the Gulf region after the visit of the Emir of Qatar in March 2015.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. (Photo: PTI)
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. (Photo: PTI)

This is the third visit to India by Sheikh Mohamed and the first in his capacity as crown prince. He is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces.

Thursday morning: He will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhavan following which he will lay a wreath at Rajghat.

Thursday noon: He will have a tete-a-tete with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after which President Pranab Mukherjee will host him for a private lunch.

Thursday evening: Bilateral discussions will be held and then the agreements will be signed.

Friday: Sheikh Mohamed will leave for Mumbai where he will visit the Bombay Stock Exchange and meet Indian business leaders.

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