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India and UAE hold talks, resolve to boost ties


New Delhi, Aug 17: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday held extensive talks with his counterpart from the UAE Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, covering a range of areas including ways to further boost strategic ties and the situation in the neighbourhood of both countries.

S Jaishankar

The Ministry of External Affairs said the Indian side invited further investments from the UAE in key sectors of the Indian economy such as infrastructure including logistics, food parks, highways, ports, airports, renewable energy and defence.

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In a statement, it said wide-ranging discussions were held in a friendly, frank and constructive atmosphere, reflecting the strong bilateral ties between the two partners.

The UAE foreign minister had made a phone call to Jaisankar on Friday following finalisation of his country's historic peace deal with Israel that paved way for "full normalisation" of ties between the two countries.

The virtual talks on Monday were held as part of the 13th Session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation.

The ties between India and the UAE are on an upswing in the last few years.

With robust flow of bilateral investments and an annual bilateral trade of about USD 60 billion, the UAE is India's third-largest trade partner. The influential Gulf nation is also a major exporter of crude oil to India. The UAE has a 3.3 million-strong Indian community.

"Both ministers noted with satisfaction the progress on institutional mechanisms which continue to guide and promote the multifaceted bilateral cooperation through an extensive framework of agreements," the MEA said.

It said the two sides also discussed the regional issues pertaining to their neighbourhood and cooperation at the United Nations and other multilateral fora.

The MEA said the UAE delegation conveyed appreciation for the significant contributions made by the Indian expatriate community and expressed its willingness to further strengthen links in energy and food security.

The two sides welcomed the close cooperation during the last few months in the fight against COVID-19 and discussed a joint strategy to offset the economic and social impact of the pandemic on both countries, the MEA said.

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