India-UAE military talks conclude

The inaugural Army-to-Army Staff Talks (AAST) between India and the UAE end today. For years, economic cooperation has defined relations

India-UAE military talks conclude. Photo: Khaleej Times

The inaugural Army-to-Army Staff Talks (AAST) between India and the UAE end today.

For years, economic cooperation has defined relations between the two states. The UAE is the 10th largest foreign investor in India, and the two countries have worked together in multiple sectors, ranging from artificial intelligence to tourism. In the last decade, cooperation has expanded to the security realm.

Both countries recognize the importance of regional security as it relates to trade in the Gulf and Indian Ocean. AAST, with six members of the UAE’s Army in attendance will attempt to  foster greater bilateral military cooperation in the region.

Given that this is the first ever AAST, do not expect any major developments from the talks. However, the meeting is expected to produce the diplomatic momentum necessary for coordinating joint military exercises focused on counterterrorism and the signing of arms deals. During the trip, UAE officials visited the production plants of Larsen and Toubro Limited and Tata Motors Limited, two companies with sizeable weapons manufacturing divisions. The UAE’s growing appetite for defense systems makes a deal between the two nations involving these companies very likely in the near future, especially as New Delhi places a premium on cultivating native weapons manufacturing.

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