Abu Dhabi crown prince calls on president

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is on a three-day visit to India, on Thursday called on President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

“Indian hospitality, Arab warmth. President Pranab Mukherjee receives crown prince at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted along with pictures of the two leaders.

Mukherjee hosted a private lunch in honour of the visiting dignitary.

Earlier on Thursday, the crown prince, who arrived here on Wednesday, was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

He then paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and also held a restricted meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the latter’s residence at 7, Race Course Road.

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A slew of agreements, including on defence equipment manufacturing and civil nuclear cooperation, are likely to be signed between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during the crown prince’s visit.

After the India-UAE relationship was elevated to comprehensive strategic partnership during Modi’s visit to the UAE in August last year, the first by an Indian prime minister in 34 years, there is focus on new areas of cooperation like defence production in India, security, counter-terrorism, in nuclear and space sector, and in the energy sector.

During Modi’s visit, the Gulf nation committed $75 billion in investments in India’s infrastructure.

The welfare of the expatriate Indians in the UAE, numbering around 2.6 million, is also likely to come up for discussion between the two sides.

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The crown prince is being accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising cabinet ministers, senior officials and business leaders.

Delegation-level talks between Modi and Sheikh Mohamed are scheduled to be held on Thursday evening following which the agreements will be signed.

On Friday, the crown prince will leave for Mumbai where he will visit the Bombay Stock Exchange and meet Indian business leaders.

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