Home Middle East Prime Minister Modi Strengthens Bilateral Ties during the UAE Visit

Prime Minister Modi Strengthens Bilateral Ties during the UAE Visit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s arrival in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on February 13, 2024, marked his seventh visit to the nation, underscoring the enduring partnership between the two countries. His visit, ahead of impending elections in India, was marked by warm receptions and strategic discussions aimed at further enhancing bilateral cooperation. Upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi, Prime Minister Modi was welcomed by Emirati President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, a relationship he has often described as fraternal. The meeting between the two leaders was characterized by mutual respect and a shared commitment to strengthening ties. Bilateral agreements were signed during their discussions, spanning various sectors including trade, investment, defence, security, food, energy, and education.

In a statement from PM Modi’s office, the Prime Minister emphasized the significant progress made in cooperation between India and the UAE over the past nine years, highlighting the manifold growth across diverse sectors. He also emphasized the deep cultural and people-to-people connections that bind the two nations. The visit coincided with PM Modi’s address to tens of thousands of Indian nationals at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The enthusiastic turnout underscored the strong bond between the Indian diaspora and their homeland. Modi expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support, acknowledging the historic gathering as a testament to the enduring ties between the two nations.

The UAE, home to over 3.5 million Indian expatriates, maintains robust economic and historic ties with India, with bilateral trade exceeding tens of billions of dollars annually. A free trade agreement signed in 2022 aims to double bilateral trade to $100 billion, reflecting the shared commitment to deepening economic cooperation. Energy cooperation remains a cornerstone of the relationship, with India being a key buyer of Emirati oil. Discussions during his visit also explored the potential for long-term contracts for liquefied natural gas (LNG), further solidifying energy ties between the two countries.

The strategic partnership between India and the UAE is not confined to economic realms but extends to geopolitical considerations as well. The UAE’s embrace of PM Modi despite domestic controversies underscores its pragmatic foreign policy approach, aligning with India amidst regional complexities. PM Modi’s itinerary in the UAE includes addressing the World Government Summit in Dubai and inaugurating a new stone-carved Hindu temple near Abu Dhabi, emphasizing the cultural and religious ties between the two nations. His visit serves as a reaffirmation of the enduring friendship and shared aspirations for prosperity and progress between India and the UAE. Following his engagements in the UAE, Modi is set to travel to Qatar, further strengthening India’s ties with Gulf nations.