By Naveen Kapoor
Dubai, May 13 : Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said that energy security and infrastructure are the main foundations on which the relations between India and UAE will forward.
Addressing a gathering at Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), Abu Dhabi on 'India's foreign policy-new challenges for 21st century', he said country needs 500 billion dollars in resources to meet specific targets in infrastructure development set out in 11th five-year plan.
"UAE's energy resources and investible funds and India's ability to develop UAE's service sector and knowledge based economy make both natural partners," he added.
He said that the food security for Gulf and energy security for India are the opportunities for both sides, which can be leveraged, to mutual advantage.
Mukherjee further stressed the need to transform the present buyer-seller relationship in the energy sector to more substantial and enduring association with the cross investment.
Explaining regional environment and India's view pertaining to Palestine, Iraq, and Pakistan, he said India focuses on positive and substantial aspect of mutual relationship.
Describing Iran as significant role player in regional and world affairs, the Minister termed it as a major economic partner in the area of energy security for India.
Indian Ambassador to UAE, Talmiz Ahamad, Consul General Venu Rajamony and Director General of ECSSR Dr. Jamal al- Suwaidi were also present on the occasion.
Mukherjee also met his counterpart UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi and discussed the ways to boost the military and security ties, apart from latest developments in regional and international arena.
The two ministers also discussed about the situation in Lebanon, the Middle-East peace process, developments in Iraq and on Iranian's nuclear programme issue with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Mukherjee will meet the Indian and Emirati businessmen at a dinner hosted at Dubai World Trade Centre Club today.
In the past year, there has been a spate of high-level visits, beginning with the visit of the UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum in March 2007 to New Delhi, followed by a visit by the UAE Foreign Minister Al Nahyan in June.