India, France, UAE unveil much-awaited plan for cooperation under trilateral framework
India, France, and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday announced an ambitious plan for cooperation in areas of mutual interest – defence, energy, and technology – under a trilateral framework.
The roadmap was finalised during a phone conversation between UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and his India and France counterparts, S Jaishankar and Catherine Colonna.
A joint statement said the three sides agreed that the trilateral cooperation initiative will help promote the design and execution of cooperation projects in the fields of energy, and in the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity. The growing emphasis on solar and nuclear energy was felt through the statement.
A number of trilateral events are expected to be organised in the framework of the Emirates’ hosting of the COP28 climate summit between November 30 and December 12 as well as the Indian Presidency of the G20.
The two sides also promised to focus on key issues, such as single-use plastic pollution and desertification, and expand cooperation in food security and circular economy.
“It was acknowledged that defense is an area of close cooperation between the three countries,” the statement said, adding the nations will also find innovative ways to strengthen exchanges of views on emerging threats from infectious diseases.
The initiative is seen as an acknowledgment of the nations’ collective desire to promote international stability and prosperity.
In a recent meeting between the foreign ministers of the Emirates and France, which took place in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Abdullah underscored the deep-rooted relations between the UAE and France. The two sides talked about developments in the region and discussed available opportunities for widening their cooperation.
The UAE and India signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) in February last year. The negotiations were concluded in just 88 days, highlighting the level of trust between the two countries. The Emirates is currently India’s third largest trading partner, and CEPA is expected to increase trade between the two countries from $45 billion to $100 billion within five years.