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PM Modi's visit to UAE, Kuwait postponed amid Omicron spread: Report

The prime minister's visit to the UAE was awaited as he was expected to sign the finalised free trade agreement.

December 29, 2021 / 04:11 PM IST
PM Narendra Modi (File image: PTI)

PM Narendra Modi (File image: PTI)

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.

Sources in the South Block told Hindustan Times that the visit is being rescheduled in view of the emerging risks posed by the Omicron variant of coronavirus, which is spreading globally.

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.

India, on the other hand, had hosted Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of UAE Armed Forces, in 2016. A year later, Al Nahyan was invited again as the chief guest of the 2017 Republic Day celebrations.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Dec 29, 2021 04:11 pm
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