Abu Dhabi: The UAE chaired the ministerial meeting between the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council and India on Tuesday.The meeting, which was held via video conference,on 3rd November reviewed ways to strengthen relations as well as exchange views on international and regional files of common interest.
Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, addressed joint cooperation in various fields, especially on the economic front, as well as coordination to face emerging challenges, such as effectively dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, Dr.Gargash underscored the role of India in the international community, and the importance of strengthening them in various ways: economic, investment, tourism, cultural, as well as in education, scientific research and industrial, artificial intelligence, environment, health, and space.
He clarified that the UAE and GCC countries are keen on "more coordination and cooperation in various fields and at all levels."
Moreover, he spoke of prospects for strengthening Gulf-Indian cooperation in the economic, commercial, and investment fields through joint projects amid an optimistic view of doubling trade exchange upon the signing of the forthcoming free trade agreement between the two sides.He indicated that trade exchange increased from US$ 13 billion in 2001 to approximately US$ 109 billion in 2018.
Dr.Gargash praised the efforts of Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of India, in developing relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council, which appreciates Indian support for GCC efforts to reduce tension in the region, its positions in support of peaceful solutions, its positive stance towards the Abraham Accords, and its support for peace, coexistence, and stability in the Middle East to open a new chapter in the region.
For his part, Jaishankar described India-GCC relations as at their best. He also expressed his gratitude to GCC countries for their care and support for Indian communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ministerial meeting also discussed ways to create an atmosphere for the region's transition from crisis to stability, given that strengthening security and reducing regional tensions are necessary factors to achieve development and economic and investment exchange.