(Photo Credit: AP)
On 28 June, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi was received by UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi.
The visit was to discuss various aspects of their bilateral trade relations.
Modi visited the UAE on his way back from Germany, where he attended the G7 summit, of which India is a member.
According to reports, New Delhi and Abu Dhabi vowed to “deepen and diversify” their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), in an aim to serve their people and national interests.
The partnership was established in May 2022, and was created to deepen strategic mutual trust and lift the level of mutually beneficial trade cooperation.
The vision statement essentially establishes a roadmap for a future-oriented partnership between India and UAE and identifies focus areas and outcomes.
During their meeting, both leaders reviewed progress within the ‘vision statement,’ created in February this year, to advance their economic agreement.
Modi then went on to offer his condolences to the UAE president for the passing of his predecessor, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The Indian prime minister recalled the “generous humanitarian values” of former presidents, and his progress with the Emirati-Indian ties.
He continued to congratulate Sheikh Mohamed on his consolidation of the presidency of the UAE, wishing him success in achieving economic progress for his country.
This meeting came weeks after foreign ministries across West Asia summoned their respective ambassadors from India over controversial and inflammatory anti-Islam comments made by the spokesperson of the ruling party of India, headed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
As a result, Nupur Sharma, spokesperson for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was suspended on 5 June, following sacrilegious and insulting comments he made against Prophet Muhammad during a television debate.
The BJP issued a statement saying: “During the thousands of years in the history of India, every religion has blossomed and flourished. The Bharatiya Janata Party respects all religions. The BJP strongly denounces insults of any religious personalities of any religion.”
The foreign ministry of India then stated that the comments made by Sharma during the TV debate did not reflect the views of the Modi government in any way.
The UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Oman all summoned their Indian ambassadors and demanded an apology from New Delhi.
The Indian government led by premier Modi has come under harsh criticism for policies that discriminate against India’s Muslim population, including a controversial amendment to the citizenship laws.
BJP has also been accused of using rhetoric that has resulted in an increase of violence against Muslims in India.