Amidst Tension in the Gulf, UAE Foreign Minister to Make a Trip to India

UAE in a bid to take their increasing bilateral relations forward and further bolster the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister is scheduled to be on a three-day official visit to India starting from 7th July.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah, who is also the Minister for International Cooperation, will be escorted by a senior-level of delegates and will be conducting talks with India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar. He would also pay a visit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In the wake of the UAE called for a de-escalation of tension in the Gulf, the visit of His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed holds great significance. Last month, after the assaults on two tankers in the critical shipping channel, the UAE has requested the world powers to help secure maritime traffic and energy supplies in the Gulf of Oman

Last week, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah was in Moscow and held discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on techniques to reduce tensions between the US and Iran.

Reportedly, the UAE is planning to pull out most of its forces from the Saudi-led alliance that are fighting against the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.

The UAE is India’s fourth-largest energy supplier and His Highness Sheikh Abdullah’s visit comes amidst reports that India has diminished its oil imports from Iran, after the US request to “zero out” Iranian oil imports, especially after Tehran brought down a US drone over the Strait of Hormuz last month.

The UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner and is also the first nation to take part in India’s “Strategic Petroleum Reserves” programme. It is also home to a 3.3 million-strong Indian community, the biggest in the Gulf region.

The latest visit would allow the two sides a chance to look for new areas of cooperation to further boost their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the Indian External Affairs Ministry stated.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, had visited India during February 2016 and in January 2017 when he was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. The UAE Foreign Minister visited India in September 2015 and June 2018 and also escorted the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince in 2016 and 2017.

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