When your trust levels are really high, we say, “You know we both have a mutual friend.” Dr. S. said: Jaishankar, the Indian External Affairs Minister, who was on an official visit to the UAE earlier this week.
He was referring to groups such as I2U2 that includes the UAE, India, Israel and the United States; The tripartite assembly of the Emirates, India and France. And the joint Emirati-Indian efforts in Africa.
Dr. Jaishankar met with His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to discuss opportunities to strengthen long-term relations and the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.
The two senior diplomats also addressed ways to enhance cooperation in multilateral groups and organizations, including the I2U2 group, as well as future opportunities for cooperation within the BRICS group and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
UN Security Council, new areas of cooperation
In an exclusive interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM) at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, about India-UAE cooperation in the UN Security Council, Dr. Jaishankar said, “I am personally involved in it and aware of it.”
He suggested that India and the UAE occupy two seats in the UN Security Council during the period of great global polarization.
“The United Arab Emirates is our closest friend, and it was a good experience,” he stressed, adding that this cooperation has made the systems of both countries closer.
Regarding concrete plans to expand bilateral relations into new areas, the senior Indian diplomat said there are ongoing discussions at ministerial level in areas such as space, artificial intelligence, education, health, start-ups and more.
He said that when Prime Minister Modi and President of the United Arab Emirates His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan made a strategic decision to strengthen the relationship in 2015, they sent that overarching message. Hence it is up to the ministries, organizations, private sector and civil society to do it in their own way. Because the leadership message encourages them to do so.”
Changes in the UAE, matching developments in India
Jaishankar noted that the new type of bilateral cooperation can be explained by looking at the new sectors that have emerged in the UAE in recent decades.
The UAE has a strong leadership in the field of renewable energy and artificial intelligence. The UAE is a great educational hub, and today it has a great interest in encouraging startups and innovation. The foreign minister explained that the UAE is an important player in the semiconductor business, communications and maritime operations.
And he suggested: “If you look at the capabilities of the Emirates, the interests of the Emirates, and the change in the Emirates, you match that with similar things that are happening in India,” noting that such developments in both countries open up new horizons for cooperation.
Climate Justice, Collaboration at COP28
Dr Jaishankar said India and the UAE can work together to achieve climate justice as the UAE will host COP28, the United Nations Climate Conference, at Expo City Dubai in 2023.
He said countries that have captured most of the carbon footprint for higher standards of living, causing pollution, might say, “Let’s approach climate action as if everyone is the same.”
But not everyone is the same because there are countries that have not contributed to pollution. He emphasized that there are societies or economies in which carbon emissions per capita are still very low.
Therefore, the chief diplomat stressed: “It is our collective responsibility. Those who occupy the largest carbon footprint, those whose per capita emissions are extremely high must take decisive steps; otherwise it is not fair.”