The Emirates Diplomatic Academy (EDA), the UAE’s leading international relations and diplomatic institution, today hosted a panel discussion looking at the close symbolic, substantive and strategic ties between the UAE and India.
The event comes just a few days ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's expected second visit to the UAE for the World Government Summit, widely seen as evidence of an even closer relationship in UAE-India relations in the future.
The panel comprised of H.E. Navdeep Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE; H.E. Ahmed Abdullah Al Musalli, Former UAE Ambassador to India; Dr Rahul Sagar, Global Network Associate Professor of Political Science at New York University Abu Dhabi; and Dr N. Janardhan, Senior Research Fellow in the Gulf-Asia Programme at EDA.
H.E. Navdeep Suri said: “With Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the UAE on 10-11 February, his second in less than three years, growing UAE-India ties will receive further strategic impetus. Since his visit takes place just more than a year after India hosted Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan as chief guest on Republic Day in January 2017, it reflects the special importance the government places on UAE-India ties.
Following the signing of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement last year, we have seen major UAE investments in India, significant progress in defence and security cooperation, and our buyer-seller relationship in the energy sector has transformed into a strategic partnership.These are bound to gain further momentum, while we explore new opportunities in other sectors.”
Commenting on the EDA, he said: “I am delighted to visit the Emirates Diplomatic Academy today to see first hand the excellent work happening here and to meet some of the students, who are of high calibre. The training they are receiving today will stand them in good stead to continue the important work of UAE diplomats around the world going forward.”
The distinguished panelists discussed how the two allies’ bilateral relations across areas such as energy, cross-border investment, defense and technology have evolved, following agreements signed by the governments of the two nations last year in these fields.
H.E. Ahmed Abdullah Al Musalli said: “The UAE and India were at very different stages of development two decades ago, but the process of transformation had begun. And, it was evident even then that UAE-India ties were special and had immense scope to develop. Today it is a multi-faceted and strategic relationship.
With the fast pace of economic development in the two countries in recent times, it is easy to forget that UAE and India’s relationship actually dates back for centuries. However, I believe this important relationship has never been stronger than it is today, due to the continuous efforts of our leaders, governments, diplomats, business communities and people, who endeavor to bring our countries closer.”
His Excellency Bernardino León, Director General of EDA, thanked the panel for their insights. He said: “The UAE and India enjoy a very close relationship, one that we are very proud of, and one that we are looking forward to building even further in the coming years. The panel discussion today provided invaluable insight to our students, the UAE’s diplomats of the future, who I know took away lots of useful information from the session.
Coming just a few days ahead of the World Government Summit, it will put the visit of Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, into even greater context for our students. We want to ensure that every EDA graduate is equipped with the essential knowledge, skills and character to further the interests of the UAE long into the future, whether this relates to India or beyond.”