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ASIA

Modi in UAE: India PM’s first visit in 2015 was turning point, says envoy

The UAE ambassador to India, Abdulnasser Jamal Alshaali, lauded the role played by the Indian diaspora in his country’s journey of economic growth.

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi with UAE president Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Ahmedabad in the western Indian state of Gujarat on January 9, 2024. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

UNITED Arab Emirates ambassador to India Abdulnasser Jamal Alshaali has lauded the role played by the Indian diaspora in his country’s journey of economic growth, attributing its rapid development to the unique rapport between prime minister Narendra Modi and UAE president Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

He emphasised on Modi’s visit to the UAE in 2015, the first by an Indian prime minister in 34 years, as a defining moment in the bilateral relationship between the two nations. Modi has since then visited the Middle Eastern nation five more times and will reach it for his seventh, starting Tuesday (13). It will also be Modi’s third visit to the UAE in eight months.

In an interview with Asian News International, Alshaali said, “The first visit was the turning point in the relationship. The relationship has been there for quite some time, the diaspora has been here for quite some time and things were happening, but they were not happening at the pace that you see today. Thanks to the special bond and the special friendship between the two leaders. I was there in Ahmedabad, Gujarat and they were discussing all kinds of things.”

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​He elaborated on the evolving nature of the Indian diaspora in the UAE, noting a shift in its composition with individuals from a broader range of Indian states and diverse backgrounds now contributing to support the UAE’s vision.

“The diaspora has always been important in the UAE’s journey in terms of economic growth, in terms of every single stage of development that UAE has gone through and will continue to go through in the future. Perhaps the diaspora is changing in terms of where they are coming from,” the diplomat said.

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He added that in the past, the majority of the diaspora hailed from a select few Indian states which has now changed.

“Now, you can see that people are coming from more Indian states and from different backgrounds, different kinds of specializations, in a way to come here and be our guests and support the UAE in its vision and in achieving its goals,” Alshaali added.

During his two-day visit to the UAE, Modi will address an event of the Indian diaspora named ‘Ahlan Modi’ (Hello Modi) and inaugurate the BAPS Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.

He will also take part in the World Government Summit 2024 in Dubai as a guest of honour and deliver a special keynote address.

Modi will hold bilateral meetings with Al Nahyan besides meeting vice president Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also the prime minister and defence minister.

The two leaders will discuss ways to further deepen, expand and strengthen the strategic partnership between the countries and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.

(With ANI inputs)

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