External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will pay a three-day visit to the United Arab Emirates beginning Wednesday to review the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. Jaishankar will carry out the review with his counterpart from the Gulf nation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan during the 14th India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) and third India-UAE Strategic Dialogue.
“These meetings will provide an opportunity to both the ministers to review the entire spectrum of comprehensive strategic partnership between India and UAE and regional and global developments,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Monday, announcing Jaishankar’s visit. It said during the visit from August 31 to September 2, he will also meet other dignitaries of the UAE.
There has been a regular exchange of high-level interaction between India and the UAE this year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid a visit to Abu Dhabi on June 28 and met President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Earlier, both leaders had also held a virtual summit on February 18 during which India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed and a vision statement was adopted. Both leaders also participated in the I2U2 summit held virtually on July 14. US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid also attended the summit.
The new grouping is known as ‘I2U2’ with ‘I’ standing for India and Israel and ‘U’ for the US and UAE. “Both India and UAE are committed to moving forward in their partnership in diverse areas, including trade, investment, conventional and renewable energy, food security, health, skill development, education, culture, defence, space, consular issues and people-to-people ties,” the MEA said in a statement.
It said these areas were also discussed at official levels during the meetings of the sub-committees of the JCM held on August 23 to 24. The CEPA sealed by India and the UAE in February is expected to facilitate Indian exporters to gain access to the Arab and African markets besides increasing the two-way trade to USD 100 billion in the next five years from the current USD 60 billion.
The ties between the two countries witnessed a major upswing following Modi’s visit to the UAE in 2015 as it marked the beginning of a new phase in partnership.