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  • UAE says UNSC permanent seat is India’s ‘right’

    Published on November 23, 2010

    The UAE has came out in strong support of India’s quest for a permanent seat in a reformed UN Security Council, with President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan telling his Indian counterpart Pratibha Patil that this was New Delhi’s “right”.

    “His Highness (the UAE President) stated that UAE would certainly support India, which had the right to be a permanent member of a reformed UN Security Council,” Secretary (East) Latha Reddy told reporters after the “warm and friendly” talks between the two leaders, reflecting the close ties between the countries.

    Patil was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Musharif Palace by her UAE counterpart on whose invitation she arrived in Abu Dhabi last night on a five-day official visit, her first to the Gulf region.

    He later hosted a banquet in her honour.

    The visit has come at a time when UAE has emerged as India’s largest trading partner in terms of total trade exchange in the first half of 2010, with USD 43 billion bilateral trade and oil imports by India accounting for USD five billion.

    Seeking to boost their ties to a new level of cooperation, the two leaders favoured cooperation in diverse fields with Patil asking energy-rich UAE to make investments in the upstream and downstream projects in the petroleum sector, food processing and infrastructure areas including Railways.

    The two sides also saw regional security as an area of enhanced cooperation.

    Reddy said that Indian Home Minister has invited his UAE counterpart to New Delhi for the signing of the agreement on security cooperation.

    President wanted the agreement to be signed as early as possible to address issues relating to counter-terrorism and maritime security.

    There have been no irritants in bilateral relations and Reddy said that “the talks were warm and friendly… reflecting the close ties” between the two countires.

    “Both leaders agreed to enhance the strategic relationship by focusing on areas such as education, science and technology, regional security and many other areas where there is a potential for cooperation,” Reddy said.

    Patil and Sheikh Khalifa agreed that specific proposals in this regard should be taken up in detail at the forthcoming meeting in Abu Dhabi of the Joint Commission which is headed by the Foreign Ministers.

    The UAE Minister of Higher Eucation Nahayan Mubarak Al-Nahayan mentioned that there was an agreement between the UAE and India on the plantation of palm trees.

    It was agreed that this could be useful in areas such as the desert state of Rajasthan.

    With the Indian community here numbering around 1.75 million, the two leaders agreed that any issues with regard to the welfare of the Indian community should continue to be discussed by the UAE ministry of labour and the Indian Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

    The two also expressed confidence that these would be resolved and the processes to address them would be further strengthened.

    During the President’s meetings with the UAE leadership, India invited investments from the country in areas of food processing and infrastructure, including railways.

    Avenues for cooperation in areas such as water desalination and joint research in maritime security were also discussed.

    “Less than 2 per cent of India’s food production goes into processed food and there is a scope for cooperation between the two sides on this,” she said, adding that technical collaboration in many such areas are being discussed.

    India, she said recognises the UAE as a valuable partner in energy cooperation, pointing out that India imports USD 5 billion worth of crude from the country.

    She said the idea of inviting investment is to collaborate on the opportunities that are available to the two sides.

    She also said that the two sides are also working on a prisoner exchange programme.