UAE, India sign Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement

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On January 25, 2017 the visiting UAE Leader Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and India’s Prime Minister witness signing of Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement.

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The United Arab Emirates and India signed on Wednesday in New Delhi the “Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement” and a number of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) during a state visit by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India.

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Both leaders lauded the agreement as a breakthrough in an already strong relationship between the two nations.

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H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar signed the strategic cooperation agreement.

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The same ceremony was also scene to the signing of nearly dozen agreements between different UAE and Indian ministries, government agencies and companies in areas ranging from defence, maritime, land transport and cooperation on prevention and combating of human trafficking to diplomacy, media and energy.

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Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed described the agreement as “historic”. “Undoubtedly,” he said in a speech during the signing ceremony. “We are witnessing a historic moment with the signing of the “Strategic Partnership Agreement” and a host of other agreements. Together, these accords open up new horizons for cooperation and mutual work between our two governments and peoples, and are indeed a breakthrough in the history of our relationship.”

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He added, “Under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE considers promoting our bilateral relations to a strategic level as a major gain that serves to benefit our two nations.”

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PM Modi who had earlier developed a similar “strategic relationship” with Iran during 2014-16 said that the UAE “is one of our most valued partners and a close friend in an important region of the world.”

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He said the two country’s partnership in the area of energy was “an important bridge in our linkages”, adding that “His Highness and I discussed ways to transform our energy ties in a strategic direction through specific projects and proposals. In this regard, long-term supply contracts and establishment of joint ventures in the energy sector can be beneficial avenues.”

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PM Modi also added that he exchanged views with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on developments in Asia and the Gulf, a reference to Afghanistan and Iran-Gulf tension.

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The two countries also signed Comprehensive Partnership Agreement, the following MoU’s and agreements were also signed and exchanged by officials from the two governments during the ceremony: MoU between the UAE’s Ministry of Defence and the Indian Ministry of Defence on cooperation in the field of defense industry. The agreement was signed by Mohamed Ahmed Al Bowardi, UAE Minister of State for Defence Affairs, and Manohar Parrikar, India’s Defence Minister.

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MoU between the UAE government and that of India on institutional cooperation on maritime transport. The agreement was signed and exchanged at the ceremony by Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Manohar Parrikar, India’s Defence Minister.

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MoU between the Federal Transport Authority and the Indian Directorate General of Shipping on mutual recognition of certificates of competency as per the provision of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watch-keeping Convention (STCW78). The agreement was signed and exchanged at the ceremony by Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Nitin Gadkari, India’s Minister of Road Transport and Highways.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed

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The UAE high-powered delegation to India also included Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the State Security Department, Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Advisor, Sheikh Dhiyab bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary at the Court of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, and Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of India.

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Earlier on January 20, 2017 the two sides held the first meeting of Strategic Dialogue between the two Foreign Offices officials in New Delhi.

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The meeting was co-chaired by Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE and his Indian counterpart M.J. Akbar, MOS for External Affairs.

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During the meeting, the two sides discussed a number of issues ranging from cooperation in the areas of trade & investments to expanding the bilateral cooperation to new areas under the strategic partnership, inter alia in the areas of energy security & renewable energy, defence & security, electronics & information technology and space.

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The two sides agreed on a number of new initiatives to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation and on signing of fresh instruments of cooperation.

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List of Agreements/MOUs exchanged during the State visit of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi to India

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1. Agreement on Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the Republic of India and the UAE. This is a general framework agreement which highlights the areas of bilateral cooperation identified under the comprehensive strategic partnership as agreed upon in the high-level joint statements issued in the August 2015 and February 2016.

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2. MOU on technical development and cooperation in cyber space between National Security Council Secretariat and National Electronic Security Authority. This MoU provides for further deepening of cooperation in cyber space through setting up of joint Research & Development Centres of Excellence.

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3. MoU between the Ministry of Defence of the Government of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Defence of the Government of UAE on cooperation in the field of Defence Industry. This MoU aims to establish cooperation in the identified fields of defence manufacturing and technology, including through studies, research, development, innovation and cooperation between public and private sector institutions of the two countries. The two sides will cooperate in areas of armaments, defence industries and transfer of technology.

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4. MoU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the UAE on Institutional Cooperation on Maritime Transport. This MoU provides a framework for enhancing bilateral maritime trade ties through facilitating maritime transport, free transfer of monies between contracting parties and reciprocal recognition of ships’ documents.

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5. MOU between the Directorate General of Shipping, Republic of India and the Federal Transport Authority- Land and Maritime in the UAE on Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency as per the provisions of the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Convention (STCW78) and amendments thereof. This MoU aims to deepen the maritime economic activities in general by establishing a framework for Mutual Recognition of Certificates of Competency of marine officers, engineers and crews.

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6. MoU between the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways of the Republic of India and the Federal Transport Authority, Land and Maritime of the UAE on Bilateral Cooperation in the Road Transport and Highways Sector. This MoU aims to establish cooperation in the sectors of Highways and Road transport through sharing of technologies, systems and best practices in freight logistics, warehousing and value added services.

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7. MOU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of UAE on cooperation in prevention and combating of human trafficking. This MoU aims to enhance bilateral cooperation on the issue of prevention, rescue, recovery and repatriation related to human trafficking, especially of women and children expeditiously.

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8. MoU for the cooperation in the field of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and innovation between the Ministry of Economy of United Arab Emirates and Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoSMSME) of the Republic of India. This MoU aims at promoting cooperation in MSMEs Sectors, including in joint projects, R & D and related activities.

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9. MoU between the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment of UAE in agriculture and Allied sectors. This MoU aims to develop a framework for cooperation in various agricultural fields of mutual interest, including through enhancement of cooperation in food processing and transfer of technology in cultivation methods.

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10. MOU between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of UAE on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements for the holders of Diplomatic, special and Official Passports. The agreement allows holders of diplomatic, special and official passports visa-free travel between the two countries.

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11. MoU between Prasar Bharati, India and Emirates News Agency (WAM), UAE for cooperation in program exchange. This MoU aims to strengthen ties between Prasar Bharati and Emirates News Agency (WAM), UAE through cooperation in the field of broadcasting, mutual exchange of programs, news and best practices.

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12. MoU between the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of India and the Ministry of Economy of United Arab Emirates on trade remedial measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest. This MoU aims to enhance cooperation in the field of anti-dumping and allied duties through exchange of information, capacity-building, seminars and trainings in mutually identified areas related to trade remedial measures.

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13. Agreement on Oil Storage And Management between Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. This agreement aims to establish a framework for the storage of crude oil by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in India and to further strengthen the strategic relationship between the two countries in the field of energy.

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14. MOU between National Productivity Council and Al Etihad Energy Services Co. LLC. This MOU is on Cooperation in Energy Efficiency Services.
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