Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the last week of this month. This visit will be part of his visit to Germany, where he will participate in the G7 summit. The G7 summit is due to take place June 26-28, 2022 at Schloss Elmau in the Bavarian Alps.
High-level visits between India and the United Arab Emirates take place regularly. The Prime Minister’s last visit to the UAE was in August 2019, during which he received the UAE’s highest honour, the ‘Order of Zayed’ bestowed upon him by the UAE leadership. . The visit was also marked by the official launch of the “RuPay card” in the United Arab Emirates and the release of a series of stamps commemorating the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. Previously, PM visited the United Arab Emirates in 2015 and 2018.
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In fact, the Prime Minister was due to travel to the United Arab Emirates earlier this year, to visit the “India Pavilion” at Expo Dubai. This year was significant for both countries as they signed a key free trade agreement or free trade pact. The UAE is India’s second largest export destination (after the United States) with an amount of over US$30 billion in the year 2018-19. For the UAE, India was the second largest trading partner in 2018 with US$36 billion (non-oil trade).
The diaspora is the main pillar of the links. The Indian expat community of around 3.4 million people is the largest ethnic community in the UAE, accounting for around 35% of the country’s population. 15% of the diaspora is in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the rest in 6 Northern Emirates including Dubai.
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During the visit, Prime Minister Modi will offer his condolences on the passing of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa. India had sent its Vice President Naidu as world leaders gathered in the country to pay their respects. India had also announced a day of mourning with the national flag at half mast.
Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit comes even as ties were strained with Islamic countries last week following remarks by now-suspended members of the ruling BJP party. The inflammatory remarks against the Prophet by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma and expelled leader Naveen Jindal had led to the summoning of Indian envoys and statements from more than 15 Islamic nations. The United Arab Emirates also issued a statement, even as its neighboring country Qatar was the first to issue a statement and summon the Indian envoy.
[with inputs from agencies]
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Post expires at 1:15pm on Tuesday June 21st, 2022