Dubai: Union Minister of State Ajay Bhatt met his UAE counterpart Mohammed Ahmed Al Bowardi and discussed opportunities for cooperation in defence sector and explored newer avenues, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi said in a statement on Thursday.

The MoS for Defence and Tourism also visited the Indian Air Force contingent in the Dubai Air Show and interacted and complemented the dignitaries for their display.

Bhatt is on an official visit to Dubai and he is accompanied by an eminent delegation of senior officials and experts from defence sector. Five Defence PSUs are also participating in the Dubai Air Show viz, HAL, BDL, MIDHANI, DRDO and BEL.

During the visit, he met with his UAE counterpart, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Mohammed Al Bowardi, at Dubai Air Show. During the meeting, both ministers reviewed the ongoing defence cooperation and explored several new avenues for cooperation.

The MoS also conveyed the greetings of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to his UAE counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

On his part, Mohammed Al Bowardi reiterated his commitment to further strengthen defence ties in sync with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Agreement signed between the two countries in 2017.

The UAE MoS thanked Bhatt and the accompanying delegation. The leaders also visited the detachment accompanying the Advanced Lightweight Helicopter Sarang and the Lightweight Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, which are participating in the Dubai Air Show with aerobatic displays. During the meeting, both ministers also discussed participation in the joint exercises planned for 2024.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the recent developments in the region and Bhatt assured Bowardi that India stands steadfast with peace, harmony and stability in the region and beyond, the statement read.

Bhatt visited the India Defence Pavilion and interacted with the Indian team comprising India's premier defence companies, including HAL, BDL, and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited, among others, who have brought models of their flagship products for exhibitions.

He also visited the exhibitions of various aircraft including India's flagship fighter jet LCA Tejas. During the visit, experts from both sides also interacted and reviewed the existing cooperation.

Bhatt also interacted with the press and expressed his satisfaction with India's presence in the Dubai Air Show, the ongoing India-UAE defence partnership and ways to take this partnership forward to new heights, the statement added.