Tuesday , September 25 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives crown prince of Abu Dhabi at airport; expects $75 billion deal soon

H.H. Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan is on a three-day visit to India and will hold comprehensive talks with Mr Narendra Modi on Wednesday.

Narendra Modi

New Delhi: In a special gesture, PM Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening received Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the airport.

The visiting Arab crown prince, who will be the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day parade, is also the deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces. He is on a 3-day visit to India and will hold broad talks with Mr Narendra Modi on Wednesday. The 2 sides are anticipated to sign nearly 16 pacts on Wednesday, including a Strategic Cooperation Agreement.

“Welcome to India, H.H. Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. We are pleased to host you & delighted that you will join our Republic Day celebrations. India & UAE share strong bonds of friendship & extensive cooperation. Looking forward to building on this & further cementing ties,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted after receiving the UAE leader.

Narendra Modi Twitter

The 2 leaders will first meet for one-on-one talks at Mr Narendra Modi’s official house before holding delegation- level talks at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Wednesday. Apart from providing a boost to trade and investments ties, enhancement of cooperation in strategic areas of energy, defence and security concerns are expected to dominate the talks.

A Strategic Cooperation Agreement, along with 16 pacts, including one relating to the $75 billion investment fund, committed by the UAE, are expected to be signed on Wednesday after the talks between Mr Narendra Modi and the H.H. Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

In the meantime, at a meeting earlier in the day, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) denied commenting on whether terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s properties would be frozen by the UAE, stating some things are “best left unstated till something happens”.

The UAE has by now invested $4 billion in India but this is not included in the planned $75-billion investment. Briefing reporters on the visit, the MEA’s secretary Amar Sinha stated a “considerable” outcome is expected in the area of defence and security where they will “solidify” their cooperation given shared views on the common threat. New Delhi is also eyeing the UAE as a defence market for Indian weaponry.

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