India, UAE to hold first joint naval drill in Gulf

India, UAE to hold first joint naval drill in Gulf

SAM Staff,
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) shakes talks with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi. Photo: PTI

PM Narendra Modi entered the last leg of his three-nation tour on February 11, landing in Muscat to visit India’s closest ally in the region, Oman.

Before he flew on to Muscat, the PM, wrapping up a state visit to the UAE, reiterated strong cooperation on combating terrorism and a defence partnership that will see the Indian Navy conducting an exercise in the Gulf waters.

Addressing the World Government Summit in Dubai, Modi highlighted the importance of assimilating technology with governance to ensure equitable growth, a key message relating to his government’s programmes promoting inclusive growth through banking and DBT.

He also met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai.

A joint statement issued at the end of Modi’s visit focused substantially on a joint approach to tackling terrorism and radicalisation. Indian institutions will cooperate with Sawab and Hedayah of the UAE, two entities that are actively addressing radical thoughts and actions at the level of religious places, schools and among the youth.

With defence and security moving up in importance, the joint statement said, “Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) formed under the existing defence cooperation agreement has been meeting regularly. The two leaders welcomed the decision taken during the latest round of JDCC held in New Delhi in December 2017 to conduct the first bilateral naval exercise during 2018.” This is the first time Indian Navy will be exercising in the Gulf, going beyond the Arabian Sea. Modi told his audience that India aspired to assume leadership position in Artificial Intelligence, nanotechnology, cyber security and cloud computing.

Modi also launched a project for construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, describing the holy place as a “catalytic agent” of humanity and harmony that will become a medium of India’s identity.