India and the UAE held the first meeting of their strategic dialogue in New Delhi to elevate the bilateral relationship to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The meeting was co-chaired by Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs M J Akbar and MoS in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE Anwar Gargash. The first dialogue took place pursuant to the decision to elevate the relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE in August 2015 followed by crown prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visit to India in February 2016.
The meeting was co-chaired by Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar and MoS in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of UAE Anwar Gargash.The two sides were represented by delegations drawn from several ministries and departments.During the visit, the two sides will also explore ways to strengthen trade ties. The two countries have been among each other’s top trading partners with a well-balanced bilateral trade of about USD 50 billion in 2015-16.During the meeting, the two sides discussed several issues ranging from cooperation in the areas of trade and investments to expanding the bilateral cooperation to new areas under the strategic partnership, inter alia in the areas of energy security and renewable energy, defence and security, electronics and information technology and space. The Gulf nation is among the top investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments and was the fifth largest supplier of crude oil to India in 2015-16. At 2.6 million, Indians form the largest expatriate group in the UAE