Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar will leave for UAE and Oman on 17th May till 21 May as part of India’s outreach to the strategically important and energy rich Middle East region.
Parrikar will begin his visit from Oman where he will discuss furthering of defence ties in the backdrop of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was inked between India and Oman in 2005.
Parrikar will also visit UAE, a country being imparted considerable importance by India. PM Narendra Modi had also visited UAE last year. Significantly, Parrikar’s to UAE will coincide with an air exercise being held between the air force of both countries. Indian fighter planes will stop by in UAE on the way back from the Red Flag air exercise in the US.
While aiming to boost defence ties with the two Gulf nations, Parrikar is also expected to hold discussions with the two countries on working together with India in counter-terrorism operations, combating money laundering, drug trafficking and trans-national crimes. UAE also conveyed to India that it will cooperate in manufacture of defence equipment in India.
Significantly, at the May 12 Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Modi was apprised of a General Framework Agreement (GFA) on Renewable Energy Cooperation between India and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The GFA was signed, in New Delhi on 11th February this year during the state visit of Crown Prince of UAE.
The objective of this GFA is to establish the basis for a framework through which extensive projects, investments, other forms of commercial endeavours, cooperation in research and development in renewable and clean energy, and knowledge sharing platforms could be enacted on the basis of mutual benefit, equality and reciprocity between the Parties.
The GFA aims at cooperation between India and UAE in the field of new and renewable energy technologies. The GFA will provide opportunity for exploring potential renewable energy projects for investments; Continue cooperating in the International Solar Alliance; exploring avenues of cooperation in research and development in renewables; developing knowledge-sharing mechanisms through which to build upon the human capital of the Parties; exploring establishing a joint fund between the Parties to facilitate investment: forms of cooperation as mutually agreed by the Parties.
(with inputs from agencies)