India, UAE: Pacts in Defence & Security

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NEW DELHI — In a bid boost to their strategic ties, India and the UAE Jan. 25 signed more than a dozen pacts in key areas like defence, security, trade and energy apart from a comprehensive strategic partnership agreement amidst assertion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that cooperation stands poised for a “major take off.”

However, a much-anticipated pact pertaining to the $75 billion investment fund, committed by the UAE, was not among the 14 pacts signed after the talks between Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Al Nahyan, who arrived here Jan. 24 accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising ministers, senior officials and captains of industry, was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade Jan. 26.

Terming his discussions as “fruitful and productive,” Modi, at a joint press event with the UAE leader, said the discussions were wide ranging covering the entire spectrum of the bilateral engagement.

“We have shaped an ambitious roadmap of engagement to make our comprehensive strategic partnership purposeful and action oriented. The agreement that was exchanged just now has institutionalized this understanding,” Modi said.

Asserting that security and defence cooperation have added growing new dimensions to the ties, he said their closer ties are of importance, not just to both the countries but also of significance to the entire neighbourhood.

He also said convergence between the two countries can help stabilize the region and the economic partnership can be a source of regional and global prosperity.

“We exchanged views on developments in West Asia and the Gulf, where both countries have a shared interest in peace and stability. We also discussed developments in our region, including Afghanistan. Our shared concern on growing threat from radicalism and terrorism to the safety and security of our people is shaping our cooperation in this space,” Modi said.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, India and the UAE have condemned efforts by states to use religion to sponsor and sustain terrorism against other countries, and resolved to cooperate in countering terrorism by adopting a policy of “zero tolerance” towards the menace, an India-UAE joint statement said Jan. 26, adding that the two sides agreed to coordinate efforts to counter radicalization and misuse of religion by groups and countries for inciting hatred and perpetrating acts of terrorism.

Acknowledging the common threat posed by terrorism to peace and security, the two countries reaffirmed their “strong condemnation of and resolute opposition to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever committed and by whomever, and declared that there could be no justification for terrorism anywhere,” it said.

Without naming Pakistan, the statement said, “The two sides condemned efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries.”

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