Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Thursday discussed ways to diversify trade and investment links and strengthen the India-UAE partnership in the post-Covid-19 world.
The phone conversation between the two leaders came a day after the United Arab Emirates (UAE) took the unprecedented step of providing in-air refuelling for three Rafale combat jets on a non-stop flight from France to India. The French-made jets were part of the latest batch of Rafales to join the Indian Air Force (IAF).
UAE’s move reflected the growing defence ties between the two sides. Last month, Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane became the first head of one of the three services to visit Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Modi and the crown prince, who is also deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, discussed the impact of the pandemic in the region and expressed satisfaction that cooperation between the two countries hadn’t halted during the crisis.
“They agreed to continue close consultations and cooperation to further strengthen the India-UAE partnership in the post-Covid-19 world. In this context, they discussed the opportunities for further diversifying trade and investment links,” the external affairs ministry said.
Modi expressed his special appreciation for the personal attention and care that the crown prince has “always shown for the well-being of the expatriate Indian community”.