Abu Dhabi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan reaffirmed their joint commitment against extremism and terrorism, including cross-border terrorism, in all forms, at both the regional and international levels, India-UAE Joint statement said on Friday.

The leaders agreed to further deepen their bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism, terrorist financing, and extremism.

The joint statement said that the leaders agreed to further strengthen bilateral collaboration to strengthen maritime security and connectivity in the region to promote prosperity in India, the UAE, and the shared neighbourhood.

They also agreed to enhance defence exchanges, sharing of experiences, training, and capacity building.

In this context, they emphasized the importance of promoting the values of peace, moderation, coexistence, and tolerance among peoples and stressed the need for all forms of extremism, hate speech, discrimination, and incitement to be renounced.

Both leaders emphasized the importance of multilateralism and called for collective action to promote a just, rules-based global order. The two leaders also expressed satisfaction with the coordination between the two sides on UN Security Council matters, especially in 2022, when both countries served as non-permanent members of the UNSC.

Prime Minister Modi commended the UAE’s achievements during the UAE’s term as an elected member of the Security Council. The UAE reiterated its endorsement of India’s bid for permanent membership of the reformed UNSC.

This was the fifth visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the UAE in the last eight years. Prime Minister Modi last visited the UAE in June 2022 when he visited Abu Dhabi to meet Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to convey his greetings as he assumed the presidency of the UAE.

In 2015, Prime Minister Modi became the first Prime Minister of India to visit the UAE in 34 years. This visit was followed by the visit of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to India in 2016, then in 2017, when Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations.

Moreover, the India-UAE relationship was formally elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership during the visit of HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to India in 2017.

The leaders expressed satisfaction that UAE-India relations have witnessed tremendous progress on all fronts. India-UAE trade rose to USD 85 billion in 2022, making the UAE India’s third-largest trading partner for the year 2022-23 and India's second-largest export destination.

India is the UAE’s second-largest trading partner. In February 2022, India became the first country with which the UAE signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Bilateral trade has increased by approximately 15 per cent since the entry into force of the CEPA on May 1, 2022.

The UAE side appreciated the hosting of the Voice of Global South Summit by India in January 2023.

Both sides also looked forward to further cooperation in plurilateral fora such as I2U2 and the UAE-France-India trilateral cooperation initiative. They noted that such platforms provide greater opportunities for both countries to elevate the partnership to new heights.

On Friday, in Abu Dhabi, the President of the UAE Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi exchanged a crucial Memorandum of Understanding on finance, payments and education.

Memorandum of Understanding for the use of local currencies for cross-border transactions, interlinking payment and messaging systems and planning to establish the Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi in Abu Dhabi were exchanged.

The leaders noted that people-to-people contacts, which date back centuries, are one of the strongest and most important pillars of the historic India-UAE ties. The UAE expressed appreciation that the large Indian diaspora continues to play a significant role in the society and economy of the UAE and further reinforces bilateral relations.

Prime Minister Modi thanked Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his warm hospitality to his delegation. Prime Minister Modi is looking forward to the participation of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the G20 Leaders’ Summit on 9-10 September 2023 in New Delhi.