Narendra Modi turns candid with Xpress ahead of UAE visit, answers questions on bilateral ties, personal interests

It was a surprise when Modi spoke to Gulf News ahead of his three-nation tour to Palestine, United Arab Emirates and Oman.

FP Staff February 09, 2018 22:37:04 IST
Narendra Modi turns candid with Xpress ahead of UAE visit, answers questions on bilateral ties, personal interests

Narendra Modi gave an interview to Xpress, a UAE-based weekly newspaper, ahead of his three-nation tour to Palestine, United Arab Emirates and Oman. The interview, which was published on 7 February, was largely centered around the prime minister's personal interests and daily routines, but it also shed light on his bilateral visit to the UAE and the agenda he seeks to pursue when he meets the leadership of UAE.

The prime minister told the Dubai-based news organisation that "energy and infrastructural investments" will remain the key focus of his visit and his interactions with the UAE leadership. He said that several of the initiatives agreed upon between the two countries previously have "come to fruition now."

Narendra Modi turns candid with Xpress ahead of UAE visit answers questions on bilateral ties personal interests

Narendra Modi started his three-nation tour on Friday. Twitter @NarendraModi

Modi last visited the UAE in August 2015, in what was the first ever visit to the UAE by an Indian prime minister. Subsequently Abu Dhabi's crown prince Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed visited India in 2017 when he was the chief guest of the Republic Day Parade.

Highlighting the growing bilateral relationships between the two nations, the prime minister also commented on the existing cooperation and people-to-people contact.

"It is a matter of even greater happiness that new government-to-government and business-to-business initiatives promise to add even more strength and depth to the bilateral cooperation in various areas of economic activity," Modi told Xpress

"The Indian community has acted as a bridge between the two countries and I hope my visit will further strengthen these ties," he added saying that the UAE is home to over three million people of Indian origin.

During the visit, Modi said he will engage with leading UAE and Arab CEOs in Dubai on the vast economic opportunities in India and what more can be done to bolster business collaboration. In a tweet put out on Thursday, Modi said that he will be holding talks with the crown prince and the ruler and prime minister of Abu Dhabi.

The prime minister will also address the sixth edition of the World Government Summit on the UAE government's invitation as India is also designated the Guest of Honour country.

Describing the Gulf country as a "valued strategic partner", Modi said that India has fast-tracked cooperation with the UAE in all major spheres, including economy, energy, high technology and security.

Meanwhile, apart from the bilateral issues, Modi's interview also gave some insight into his personal life. The prime minister answered questions about a number of aspects, including his morning routine to his favourite food items. When asked about his favourite food, he said that he is not much of a foodie and enjoys a simple vegetarian meal. He also denied reports that a personal butler accompanies him on foreign tours, and said that he was happy to accept whatever his "gracious hosts" offer him. 

The  prime minister is on the three-nation tour from 9-12 February.  He said it would be his fifth visit to the Gulf and the West Asian region since 2015.  "This region is a key priority in our external engagement. We enjoy vibrant multi-dimensional ties with the countries here," he said. "I look forward to strengthening India's growing and important ties with West Asia and the Gulf region through the visit," Modi said.  The prime minister said he will visit the UAE from 10-11 February.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Time capsule capturing Ram Janmabhoomi’s history, to be placed below Ayodhya temple construction site
India

Time capsule capturing Ram Janmabhoomi’s history, to be placed below Ayodhya temple construction site

A trust member also said that soil from various pilgrimages and water from sacred rivers will be used during the bhoomi pujan on 5 August

Rahul Gandhi's new video exposes his own family’s obsessive image-building, failures on China
India

Rahul Gandhi's new video exposes his own family’s obsessive image-building, failures on China

Instead of constructive criticism of a responsible Opposition, the Congress party has sided with and fanned the most radical elements

Narendra Modi's Mann ki Baat: COVID-19 is as fatal as it was in the beginning, says PM
India

Narendra Modi's Mann ki Baat: COVID-19 is as fatal as it was in the beginning, says PM

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his 67th Mann Ki Baat address, touched upon a wide variety of subjects ranging from Kargil Vijay Divas and COVID-19 to promoting the vocal for local initiative and offering commiserations and support to the flood victims in Assam and Bihar.