India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are determined to build trust and develop a much deeper relationship, keeping aside the Prophet remark row. The bonhomie between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE President and ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan amply signaled that the recent Prophet remark row did not affect the existing ties between two nations. Top diplomatic sources told The Daily Guardian Review that “the controversy did not cast a shadow on the visit of PM Modi to the UAE, nor was there any kind of message from Abu Dhabi on the row.” “UAE president came all the way to the airport
to meet PM Modi in what was a special gesture. The Indian leader was given a warm reception and was welcomed in a special way. There was no mention of the row at any point of time during the PM’s stopover in Abu Dhabi. All this is enough to suggest that the UAE is ready to move on, sidestepping the controversy,” sources said.
Ahead of the PM’s UAE visit, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said that almost all Gulf countries have an understanding of India’s position. “We have communicated our stand on various platforms. I don’t think that (the Prophet row) will be taken forward anymore,” Kwatra said. So, on the line of what Kwatra said, there was neither any reference nor any indication regarding the Prophet controversy during the PM’s visit to Abu Dhabi, sources said.
PM Modi took the opportunity to congratulate the new UAE President and ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan on his election as the new leader of UAE and Abu Dhabi. PM Modi’s visit was aimed at reiterating India’s economic and geopolitical commitment to the emirates, apart from sending a message of reconciliation after the controversy over comments on Prophet Muhammad. He also conveyed condolences on the passing away of the President of UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Sources said that the PM’s visit to UAE was successful and fruitful in terms of deepening the relationship between the two countries. He also successfully sent out the message that India remains a close ally of nations in the region and is unwilling to let domestic politics come in the way of bilateral relations.
Sources told TDGR that PM Modi’s visit to UAE was also aimed at placating ally nations including Qatar and Kuwait.
The message was clear also for the other Islamic nations and the Gulf countries that India is keen to work with all of them like always.
PM Modi and President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan vowed to “deepen and diversify” the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between India and UAE in what was a clear indication of Abu Dhabi’s willingness to build trust and stronger ties.