Abu Dhabi, Dec 4 : India and the UAE Tuesday signed two agreements, including one on currency swap, as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held exhaustive discussions with her counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed to step up bilateral cooperation in areas like security, defence, counter-terrorism, trade and energy.
Swaraj, who arrived here on Monday on a two-day visit, was received by Abdullah ahead of the UAE-India Joint Commission Meeting here.
"Advancing the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership...EAM @SushmaSwaraj & Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan co-chaired 12th India-UAE #JCM. Held exhaustive discussions on cooperation in energy, security, trade, investments, space, defence & consular, among others," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
This is the 12th session of the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting for Economic and Technical Cooperation.
"Institutional mechanisms guiding the multifaceted cooperation...Two documents signed during the visit of EAM @SushmaSwaraj to #UAE : Agreement on Currency Swap and MoU for Development Cooperation in Africa," Kumar tweeted.
Currency Swap is such a pact between two countries that allows trading in their own currency and payments to import and export trade at pre-determined exchange rate without bringing in a third benchmark currency like the US dollars.
The second agreement would enable both sides to undertake development projects in Africa.
"Reinforcing the strong bonds of friendship...The ministers looked forward to continuing the trend to strengthen & seek partnership in new areas," Kumar tweeted.
Later, an MEA official said the two leaders discussed several areas of mutual interests including defence, security, counter-terrorism, trade, economic, energy, science and technology, and civil aviation among others.
They identified several new areas of cooperation, the official said.
Following the meeting, the two leaders signed and adopted the agreed minutes of the JCM, Kumar said. Swaraj also called on Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Both the leaders expressed satisfaction at the pace of the bilateral relations in a range of areas, attesting to the two countries comprehensive strategic partnership, Kumar said.
With nearly USD 50 billion bilateral trade, the two countries are one of the largest trade partners for each other and have made robust investments bilaterally. The UAE is the sixth-largest source of Indian oil imports and hosts a 3.3 million-strong Indian community.
Swaraj and Abdullah also jointly inaugurated a digital interactive museum showcasing the life, works and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi and the founder of modern UAE Shaikh Zayed.
The Gandhi-Zayed Digital Museum, which will promote peace, tolerance and sustainability, is part of the celebrations by the two countries to mark 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and centenary celebrations of the birth of Shaikh Zayed.
Later in the evening, Swaraj interacted with the Indian community and appreciated their contribution in enhancing relations with the UAE.
UAE hosts a 33 lakh-strong Indian community the largest number of Indians outside India.
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Bengaluru,Jul 31: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday said he is likely to get a message from the BJP high command on cabinet expansion in a couple of days and will have to leave for New Delhi once again to finalise it.
"I couldn't meet J P Nadda (BJP National President) today, but had met him yesterday.
Most likely they will send a message to me in two days and I'll have to go to Delhi once again.
We will finalise the cabinet," Bommai said.
Asked whether the cabinet expansion will take place in two stages, he told reporters here on his arrival from Delhi that it cannot be revealed now.
Bommai was on a two-day visit to Delhi during which he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Nadda, a host of central Ministers, MPs and Ministers from Karnataka, among others.
Ministerial aspirants, meanwhile, have continued lobbying to secure a berth in the new cabinet.
While several legislators, including some former Ministers, are camping in Delhi and are lobbying to make it to the new cabinet, some have openly expressed their aspirations to become Ministers.
According to party sources, some legislators like Ramesh Jarkiholi, M P Renukacharya and Munirathna have met former Chief Minister and BJP veteran B S Yediyurappa at his residence here.
Demanding a Ministerial post, Haveri MLA Neharu Olekar said he should be given an opportunity in the new cabinet and it is the wish of party workers from the constituency, who have even staged a demonstration.
"Our fight will not end. This is the third time and I should be given the opportunity... I'm confident that the leaders will bless me.
No opportunity has been given so far to anyone from the Chalawadi community by BJP,while Congress has given...so there is the fear of them shifting towards Congress," he said.
Senior BJP leader and former Minister K S Eshwarappa said he has been getting several calls stating that he should have been made the Chief Minister after Yediyurappa was removed and at least he should be made Deputy Chief Minister now.
"It is for the high command to decide," he said.
Stating that cabinet formation is left to the discretion of the Chief Minister, another senior leader and former Minister V Somanna said Basavaraj Bommai is close to him and has experience.
"His father was also a CM, and will choose his cabinet ministers."
Downplaying reports of a rift between him and another senior BJP leader R Ashoka, he said "it is an internal matter between us. It is an old issue and has nothing to do with cabinet formation or becoming a Minister.
Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah urged that the cabinet be formed at the earliest, as the CM alone cannot handle things
Meanwhile officials have to be instructed to take measures to manage flood and the COVID situation, he said.
"I don't think he (CM) discussed cabinet expansion during his Delhi visit. Maybe he may go once again...but he should have discussed it and finalised, given the current situation," he said.
Bommai, who was elected as the new leader of the BJP legislature party on Tuesday following Yediyurappa's resignation, took oath as the Chief Minister on Wednesday.
Expanding the Ministry will be the first big challenge before the new Chief Minister as he will have to navigate through the cabinet formation exercise by maintaining a balance between factions within the ruling BJP.
There are several aspirants among the party old guard and youngsters. There are also legislators who had joined the BJP after quitting Congress-JD(S) coalition in 2019.