Modi applauds 'vibrant relationship' between India and Gulf

Modi applauds 'vibrant relationship' between India and Gulf
2 min read
11 February, 2018
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has applauded the 'vibrant relationship' shared between his country and Gulf Arab nations during a visit to Dubai.
Indian labourers, taxi drivers and white-collar workers can be found everywhere in the UAE [AP]

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has applauded the "vibrant relationship" shared between his country and Gulf Arab nations during a visit to Dubai.

Modi made the comments on Sunday at a speech at an invitation-only gala at the Dubai Opera.

"Today, whether it's the UAE or other countries in the Arabian Gulf, our relationship is no longer just that of a buyer and seller, it's a partnership that's been built," said Modi.

Indian labourers, taxi drivers and white-collar workers can be found everywhere in the United Arab Emirates, as well as other Gulf Arab nations.

Modi will later address the World Government Summit in Dubai before heading to Oman. He was in the Palestinian territories on Saturday and met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. 

Modi pledged $40 million in aid to Palestine, during the first-ever visit by an Indian head of state to the West Bank.

"We discussed regional and global developments that have a role in peace in the world and in the region," Bloomberg reported the prime minister as saying, as he stood alongside Abbas.

Last summer, Modi visited Israel but did not stop over in the West Bank. New Delhi has since pursued efforts to "de-hyphenate" its relations with Israel and the Palestinians.

Traditionally, India has been a vocal champion of the Palestinian cause.

India is today the largest importer of Israeli arms in the world, accounting for 41 percent of the latter's arms sales. 

In January, Modi hosted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on his week-long trip to India, where he sought to revive a $500 million anti-tank missile deal.

New Delhi already provides development assistance in the Palestinian territories, with the $40 million announced on Saturday earmarked for media equipment, schools and a hospital.