PM Modi holds talks with UAE president, signs bilateral investment treaty

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during a meeting in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Tuesday. Photo: PTI

Abu Dhabi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held wide-ranging talks with the UAE's President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during which they reviewed the strategic partnership, discussed new areas of cooperation and witnessed the signing of several agreements, including a bilateral investment treaty.

In a special and warm gesture, Modi was received at the airport by President Mohamed bin Zayed. The two leaders hugged each other. He was later given a guard of honour.

"Immensely grateful to my brother, HH @MohamedBinZayed for taking the time to receive me at Abu Dhabi airport," Modi posted on X.

The two leaders held one-on-one and delegation-level talks soon after Modi landed here. They reviewed the bilateral partnership and discussed new areas of cooperation.

They welcomed the deepening of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership across sectors, including trade and investment, digital infrastructure, fintech, energy, infrastructure, culture and people-to-people ties. Discussions also covered regional and global issues, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

"I thank you for this grand welcome of me and my team. As you said, I feel that whenever I have come here, I have always felt that I have come to my home and family," Prime Minister Modi said in his opening remarks at the bilateral meeting with the UAE President.

"We have met five times in the last seven months. Today, there is a mutual partnership between India and UAE in every sector," he said.

The two leaders witnessed the exchange of eight agreements including a Bilateral Investment Treaty, MoU on cooperation in the field of electrical interconnection and trade and an Intergovernmental Framework Agreement between India and UAE on the India-Middle East Economic Corridor.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being received by UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan upon his arrival in Abu Dhabi UAE on Tuesday. Photo: PTI

The Bilateral Investment Treaty will be a key enabler for further promoting investments in both countries. India has signed both a Bilateral Investment Treaty and a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with UAE, the statement said.

Other agreements include an MoU on cooperation in Digital Infrastructure Projects, a Cooperation protocol between the National Archives of the two countries, an MoU for cooperation in the field of heritage and museums, an agreement on interlinking of the instant payment platforms - UPI (India) and AANI (UAE) and an agreement on inter-linking domestic debit/credit cards - RuPay (India) with JAYWAN (UAE).

Prime Minister congratulated President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed on the launch of UAE's domestic card JAYWAN, which is based on the digital RuPay credit and debit card stack. The leaders witnessed a transaction made using the JAYWAN card.

The leaders also discussed the strengthening of their partnership in the energy sector.

They appreciated that in addition to the UAE being among the largest sources of crude and LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas), India is now entering into long-term contracts for LNG (Liquefied natural gas).

Modi in his opening remarks said the UAE and India are partnering with each other in every area of cooperation.

Modi, who will inaugurate the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Mandir, the first Hindu stone temple in Abu Dhabi, on Wednesday, said: "The BAPS temple in the UAE is an example of your affinity for India."

Prime Minister thanked President Sheikh Mohamed for his personal support and for his graciousness in granting the land for the construction of the BAPS Temple in Abu Dhabi.

Both sides noted that the BAPS Temple is a celebration of UAE-India friendship, deep-rooted cultural bonds and an embodiment of the UAE's global commitment to harmony, tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Modi said the construction of the BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi would not be possible without the support from the UAE's leadership.

He also thanked him for attending the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in January. He also thanked the UAE for its support for the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC). The corridor was announced in New Delhi during the G20 summit in September.

The IMEEC is being seen as an alternative to China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The IMEEC will connect India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Europe.

Modi said this will not only connect the region but also open the doors for economic development. Modi also thanked the President for the grand diaspora event.

This is the third visit of the Prime Minister to the United Arab Emirates and the fifth meeting between the two leaders during the past eight months, which reflects the depth of the bilateral partnership, the Ministry of External Affairs said on X.

"Marhaba UAE! PM @narendramodi sets foot in the city of Abu Dhabi. Received with special warmth by UAE President HH @MohamedBinZayed at the airport, and accorded ceremonial welcome," it posted on X.

"Immensely grateful to my brother, HH @MohamedBinZayed, for taking the time to receive me at Abu Dhabi airport," Modi posted on X.

Ahead of the visit, RITES Limited signed an agreement with Abu Dhabi Ports Company and Gujarat Maritime Board with Abu Dhabi Ports Company. These would help in building port infrastructure and further enhance connectivity between the two countries, the statement said.

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