NEW DELHI, 25th January, 2017 (WAM)–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.

The UAE and Indian officials praised the agreement as a breakthrough in an already strong relationship between the two nations.

The signing ceremony, held in Hyderabad House in New Delhi, was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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.

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.

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.”

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.”

“I am confident that the UAE-India relations will witness major positive turning points over the coming years thanks to this strategic partnership agreement. This confidence was further cemented during my meetings with Indian officials, particularly my friend Prime Minister Narendra Modi. These meetings sent a clear signal that Mr. Modi and the Indian leadership as a whole, to strengthen ties with the UAE and that they have a deep appreciation of the UAE’s development model, and are adamant to turn this agreement into a bridge that will help our special relationship cross into a bright future.”

The Indian Prime Minister welcomed Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed to India as the country’s honoured Chief Guest in the Republic Day Celebrations. He praised the UAE-India relations and said, addressing His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed: “Personally, I benefitted immensely from your perspective of our partnership, your appreciation of our region and your world view. Your Highness, under your leadership, we have been successful in creating new synergies in our ties. We have shaped an ambitious roadmap of engagement to make our comprehensive strategic partnership purposeful and action oriented. The agreement that was exchanged just now has institutionalised this understanding.”

He added that the UAE “is one of our most valued partners and a close friend in an important region of the world. I have just concluded very fruitful and productive discussions with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed. We particularly focussed on implementation of various decisions taken during our last two meetings. We agreed to sustain the momentum of our relations in key areas, including energy and investments.”

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.”

Modi added that he exchanged views with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on developments in Asia and the Gulf, where both countries have a shared interest in peace and stability.

In addition, the 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.

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.

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.

MoU between the Federal Transport Authority and India’s Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on bilateral cooperation in the road and highways sector. The agreement was signed and exchanged during the ceremony by. Dr. Anwar Gargash, and India’s Defence Minister and Nitin Gadkari, India’s Minister of Road Transport and Highways.

MoU between the UAE and Indian governments on cooperation in prevention and combating of human trafficking. The agreement was signed and exchanged at the ceremony by Dr. Anwar Gargash, and Indian Minister of State for External Affairs M. J. Akbar.

MoU between the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and India’s Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s Welfare on agriculture and allied sector. The agreement was signed and exchanged by Dr. Anwar Gargash, and Indian Minister of State for External Affairs.

MoU between the UAE and Indian governments on mutual exemption of entry visa requirements to the holders of diplomatic, special and official passports. The agreements were signed by Dr. Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, and Indian Minister of State for External Affairs.

MoU between the Ministry of Economy and India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry on trade remedial measures to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The agreement was signed by Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and India’s Minister of State (IC) of Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman.

MoU between the Ministry of Economy and India’s Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MoSMSME) in the field of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and innovation. The agreement was signed and exchanged by Sultan Al Mansouri, and India’s Minister of State (IC) of Commerce and Industry.

MoU between Emirates News Agency (WAM) and India’s Prasar Bharati on cooperation in programme exchange. The agreement was signed and exchanged at the ceremony by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Chairman of National Media Council, and Indian Minister of State for External Affairs.

Agreement on oil storage and management between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Limited. It was signed by Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, who is also CEO of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company “ADNOC” and its group of companies , Dharmendra Pradhan, India’s Minister of State (IC) for Petroleum and Natural Gas.

MoU was also signed on the sidelines of the His Highness’s visit between Al Etihad Energy Services LLC and National Productivity Council on energy efficiency services.

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed was accompanied during the visit by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the State Security Department, H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Advisor, H.H. 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.

WAM/Majok