India, UAE sign pacts on tourism, telecom
India and the United Arab Emirates today signed a set of pacts to take forward engagement in the field of telecommunication and tourism while reviewing the whole range of bilateral ties with focus on security, investment and trade.
At a Joint Commission Meeting chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, both sides signed memorandum of understanding, including in higher education and scientific research.
The visiting Minster also called on Prime Minister Modi to convey that the UAE attaches highest importance to comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. He also reiterated the UAE’s commitment to expeditiously implement the substantive outcomes emerging from PM Modi's visit to UAE in August 2015 in a broad range of areas, including trade and investment, defence, security, energy, space, renewable energy, science and technology, tourism and people to people contacts.
The MoU between the two telecom regulatory authorities comes years after some hiccups in relations in the field following problems with a service provider from the UAE and its partner firm in India.
At the meeting, New Delhi pressed for extradition of certain individuals from the UAE who are wanted here. Secretary (East) Anil Wadhwa said while no list or specific names were given, it was agreed that both sides will continue cooperation in the field.
The two sides, he said, discussed subjects under seven sub-committees in areas like, trade and commerce, investments, energy, petrochemicals, defence, security and combating crime, immigration and Indian community-related issues and “arrived on agreements to enhance our cooperation in these areas”.
He also said the UAE has come out in support of early finalisation of Indian-proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the United Nations and has assured that it will find "ways and means" to encourage other countries to reach a consensus.
In her opening remarks, Sushma Swaraj noted that both countries have emerges as strong voices against terrorism and referred to the joint statement made during Prime Minister Modi's visit last month. "We should work together for the early adoption of India's proposed Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the United Nations.
UAE's support to India on CCIT is significant given the proposal at the UN has been opposed by many OIC countries, including Pakistan, who do not agree with the definition of terror and terrorists.
India, the Minister said, is looking to take forward engagement in the field of energy including renewable energy hoping that UEA companies can look at some projects for investments. She also suggested investments in Indian hydrocarbon sector especially refining and petrochemicals.
The two sides agreed to increase bilateral trade by 60 per cent over the next five years and also to encourage institutional investors in the UAE to raise their investments in India, including through the establishment of UAE-India Infrastructure Investment Fund, with the aim of reaching a target of USD 75 billion
The Indian side requested the UAE for timely sharing of information about arrest or detention of Indian nationals so that necessary consular services could be extended to them. There is about 2.6 million-strong Indian community in the UAE.