x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Indian prime minister delays his visit to UAE

Manmohan Singh was due to arrive in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month before heading to South Africa for the Brics summit.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's planned visit to the UAE has been rescheduled, not cancelled, say officials.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's planned visit to the UAE has been rescheduled, not cancelled, say officials.

DUBAI // The Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh will not visit the UAE later this month as planned.

"We took stock of the situation and decided that we need to make the visit more substantive," the Indian ambassador M?K Lokesh said. "We need to come up with many agreements on cooperation, bilateral investment promotion and protection and other things.

"We are in the process of formulating these. It is better if the prime minister comes when these are in place."

Mr Singh had been expected in Abu Dhabi at the end of the month before heading to South Africa for the Brics summit. A new date for the visit has not been set.

Indira Gandhi was the last Indian prime minister to visit the UAE, in 1981.

Salman Khurshid, India's external affairs minister, met Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, in Abu Dhabi today.

The meeting reviewed the existing cooperation between the two countries and emphasised the importance of continuous coordination and consultation "in the light of the keenness of the leadership in both countries on upgrading the existing ties", the state news agency, Wam, said.

Mr Khurshid also discussed cooperation on issues such as counterterrorism, said Mr Lokesh.

pkannan@thenational.ae