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Editorial Notes

India – UAE: New contours of partnership

The strategic partnership that India envisions with the UAE must be based on clarity and concrete measures. While bilateral ties have been robust for decades, the defence and security partnership is clearly the new driver for ties between the two governments.
By IT's Editorial Board
January 28, 2017

 

GS (M) Paper-2: “Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests”

 

India – UAE: New contours of partnership

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India-UAE bilateral relations:

India’s interest in the UAE rests on several pillars:

  • Trade ties of about $50 billion,
  • Energy and oil supplies from the world’s fifth largest exporter,
  • The welfare of 2.6 million Indians who remit billions, and
  • Defence and security.

New contours of partnership:

  • While bilateral ties have been robust for decades, the defence and security partnership is clearly the new driver for ties between the two governments.
  • The signing of the strategic partnership agreement was the highlight of the UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit.
  • The contours of this partnership are now being set: joint military exercises, joint manufacturing and purchase of equipment and spare parts from India, as well as cooperation on fighting terror.
  • The joint statement also contained strong words on “state-sponsored terror”, that the government believes is an indication that the UAE shares India’s frustration on cross-border terrorism from Pakistan, especially in the wake of the recent bomb blast in Kandahar, in which five UAE officials were among the victims.

Suggestions to strengthen the bilateral relations:

  • The strategic partnership that India envisions with the UAE must be based on clarity and concrete measures. This should include a crackdown on the shadowy businesses owned by Dawood Ibrahim.
  • More steps to curb terror financing of the Taliban and groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan; such money is often routed through expatriate remittances from the UAE.
  • India’s hopes of investment from the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest at $500 billion, will not be realised until New Delhi steps up efficiency at its end.
  • That it took more than a year for the government to fully set up the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund mechanism for the UAE funds is a case in point.
  • The delay resulted in the MoU for investment of a possible $75 billion over 10 years falling through.
  • Personalised leader-to-leader bilateral diplomacy is a great conversation-starter, but not sufficient to energise ties.
[Ref: The Hindu]

 

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