Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming visit to two major Gulf countries - the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait - has been postponed, a report said on December 29.
Modi was scheduled to embark on the official visit on January 6, with the UAE slated as his first stop. This would have been the prime minister's first foreign visit in 2022.
Modi could visit the UAE and Kuwait in February, the newspaper learnt from persons familiar with the development.
The prime minister's visit to the UAE was awaited as he was expected to sign the finalised pact on free trade.
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The India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), as the proposed free trade agreement is being formally referred to, is expected to further boost the trade ties between the two countries.
In 2020-21, the UAE was India's third-largest trading partner as it imported goods worth $26.6 billion and exported items worth $16.7 billion. The cumulative bilateral trade, worth $43.3 billion, came down as compared to $59 billion in 2019-20.
Notably, Modi's upcoming UAE visit would be his fourth to the country. He had earlier visited the West Asian nation in 2015, 2018 and 2019. He was also conferred with the Gulf country's highest civilian honour, the Order of Zayed, in 2019.