His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, reiterated the strong relations between the UAE and India, saying that the two sides share a common interest in converting mutual relations to a strategic partnership in various fields.
In a press statement released today on the occasion of the arrival of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed in the Indian capital, New Delhi, at the start of his official visit, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi said, "I can only express my overwhelming happiness to be present in the land of this friendly country of such a great civilisation, one which has significantly contributed to the edification of human civilisation."
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan added that UAE-India relations have historical ties dating back hundreds of years, and that the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan had a prominent role in consolidating this relationship and developing its strong foundations, saying, "Within this context came the late Sheikh Zayed's historic visit to India in 1975, which represented a fundamental starting point for the development and progress of all relations between the two countries over the past decades. The Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's visit to the UAE in 1981 was a quantum leap in the course of relations between the two countries."
Sheikh Mohamed added, "The UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is always eager for strong relations with India, especially in light of the significant cooperation opportunities that exist, and the rapid regional and international changes which call for a greater coordination and understanding between our two countries to face the challenges posed by these changes, as well as the investment opportunities they offer."
Sheikh Mohamed went on to say that the most important thing which characterises UAE-India relations is that shared relations go beyond the political and economical, and have a special cultural and civilisational reach. The Crown Prince added that these cultural ties and old links between the two nations have also strengthened the presence of the Indian labour force in the UAE over many years.
He added that the UAE government and its people value the contributions of the Indian community in the UAE, and the important role they have played in the various phases of the national development process, and appreciate their role in deepening popular links between the two countries, and strengthening the basis of common interests which open up bigger prospects for the future of bilateral relations.
Sheikh Mohamed stressed that India, with its political, economic and human strength, is an influential regional and international force with an important role in security and stability issues at both regional and international levels. He added that the UAE looks forward to effective Indian contributions to meeting the challenges and risks that face the region and the world, and finding just solutions to the problems, crises and tensions in the Middle East, especially in light of Indian foreign policy which is distinguished in poise, balance and wisdom, and enjoys wide acceptance regionally and globally.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed concluded by saying, "I am full of confidence that this visit to the friendly Republic of India will achieve its goals in pushing UAE-India relations forward by major steps, especially as these relations are based on the strong political will of the two countries, which is evident through the density of mutual high-level visits, the large number of agreements that have been signed over the past years, and the joint keenness for activating these agreements and turning them into practical programmes and projects."