ABU DHABI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on his second visit to the United Arab Emirates, is addressing the World Government Summit in Dubai. Eralier today, he addressed the Indian community at the Dubai Opera which was packed to capacity. At the event, he also attended - through video conference - the laying of the foundation stone of the first Hindu temple in capital Abu Dhabi. On Saturday, the Prime Minister, who flew in to the Arab nation after a historic visit to Palestine, held wide-ranging talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, during which both nations signed key agreements including a historic pact awarding a consortium of Indian oil companies, in a first, a 10 per cent stake in offshore oil concession.
Here are the latest developments:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi is delivering the keynote address at the World Government Summit in Dubai where India is a guest of honour this year. His inaugural address is on the theme: 'Technology for development'.
- The grand temple - built over 55,000 sq m land off Abu Dhabi Highway - is the first Hindu stone temple to be built in the middle east. Thanking the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi for the construction of the temple, PM Modi said, "I believe this temple will not be only unique in terms of architecture and splendour, but will also give a message of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' to people across the world".
- Earlier today, PM Modi visited Wahat Al Karama, the UAE martyr's war memorial in Abu Dhabi, before heading to Dubai.
- PM Modi, who arrived in Abu Dhabi from Jordan on Saturday evening and was welcomed by the Crown Prince at the airport, thanked him for the special gesture, saying his visit to the nation will have a positive impact on India-UAE ties.
- The two leaders later held talks at the Royal Palace after which the two sides signed five agreements related to the energy sector, railways, manpower and financial services.
- PM Modi is the first foreign leader to be invited to the palace by the Crown Prince, who appreciated the role played by Indian workers in the development of the UAE as a modern nation, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.
- Various buildings in Abu Dhabi were lit in the colours of the Indian flag to welcome Prime Minister Modi, who also attended a state banquet hosted by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince.
- This is PM Modi's second visit to the UAE - home to over three million expatriate Indians - after his visit in 2015, the first by an Indian premier in 34 years.
- While the UAE is one of the largest suppliers of crude oil to India, it is also the tenth largest investor in India in terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), having invested an estimated $8 billion. As of 2016-17, India-UAE trade stood at around $52 billion, making India the largest trading partner of the UAE, while the Gulf nation is the fourth largest trading partner of India.
- On Saturday, PM Modi visited Palestine - the first by an Indian Prime Minister - where he underlined New Delhi's support for a sovereign and "free" Palestine in a peaceful manner.