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Transcript of Sound-bite by Secretary (ER) on visit of External Affairs Minister to UAE

December 04, 2018

Secretary (ER), Shri T S Tirumurti: The External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj is visiting the United Arab Emirate between 3rd and 5th December to chair the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting in Abu Dhabi. She is accompanied by an official delegation.

The External Affairs Minister met the Foreign Minister of UAE, His Highness Sheikh Abdulla, after which they co-chaired the Commission meeting.

Speaking on the occasion EAM recalled the close and historic ties between the two countries and the forging of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the visit of Prime Minister Modi to UAE in August 2015. She recalled the successful and path breaking visits of His Highness, The Crown Prince of UAE in February 2016 and later in January 2017 as the Chief Guest for our Republic Day.

She recalled her own visit to UAE in November 2014. India also looks forwards to high level visits to India early next year including the visit of His Highness, the Sultan of Sharjah to New Delhi to take part in the Delhi Book Fair as the Guest of Honor.

Both ministers expressed satisfaction that our bilateral relationship have gone from strength to strength over the last few years. They discussed several areas of mutual interest including defence & security, counter terrorism, trade, economic and investment relations, energy, science & technology including space, cooperation in drive ways, civil aviation, food security, aggregate agriculture, education capacity and skill development, Indian community and there welfare, youth, labor issues, cultural links and consular and extradition matters.

They identified specific areas which needed trust from both sides and also discussed several new areas of cooperation to take our relations forward. The minutes of the Joint Commission Meeting are signed by the two ministers.

In a significant development an MoU on India – UAE development cooperation in Africa was also signed as a symbol of South South Cooperation. The first project is expected to be taken up in Ethiopia in coordination and consultation with the Ethiopian Government.

Both the Foreign Ministers of UAE and the External Affairs Minister jointly did a soft launch of the Zayed Gandhi Digital Museum for peace, tolerance and sustainability. This comes in the context of the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and 100th anniversary of His Highness, Sheikh Zayed. The Foreign Minister of UAE also hosted a lunch in honor of the External Affairs Minister.

The highlight of the visit was a call on the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed. His Highness, the Crown Prince emphasized the special nature of India-UAE relations thanks to the leadership of Prime Minister Modi. He stressed the importance that both nations attached values of peace and tolerance. He expressed his desire to do more with India in future and particularly in bilateral relations.

External Affairs Minister briefed him on the outcome of the Joint Commission Meeting and the excellent discussions she had had with the Foreign Minister of UAE. She thanked His Highness, the Crown Prince for his own contributions to take our relations to the next level and recalled the historic visit of His Highness, the Crown Prince for our Republic Day 2017.

She emphasized the importance of taking forward the discussions in the JCM particularly in the sphere of space, railways and energy.

This evening EAM will be addressing a cross section of Indian community in Abu Dhabi. Later in the evening, the Ambassador of India, Shri Navdeep Suri will host a dinner in her honor. EAM will be leaving for India tomorrow morning.

Thank you.

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