Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, is set to attend bilateral meetings in the United Arab Emirates which are aiming to tackle issues including security and defence cooperation as well as the Indo-Pacific situation and energy security. Modi will also visit Bahrain and the G7 Summit’s outreach session in Biarritz. However, the first stop on the prime minister’s travels will be Paris on 22 and 23 August, where he will attend a bilateral meeting with the French president Emmanuel Macron and also participate in an Indian community event. Some of the discussions will include regional and global issues, including Afghanistan and the Indo-Pacific.
Following his Paris engagements on 23 and 24 August, Modi will make a state visit to the UAE and then travel to Bahrain between 24 and 25August. Modi is to meet with Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, in the UAE to talk about bilateral, international and regional matters of mutual interest, according to a statement from the external affairs ministry. Modi is also to be given the highest civil decoration in the UAE, the Order of Zayed, which was confirmed back in April as a reward for his providing a boost to bilateral relations. Named after the founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the award acquires extra significance given that it was also decided to present Modi with the award in the centenary of the birth year of Sheikh Zayed.
The UAE was the very first country in the Islamic world to call India’s revoking of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir an internal matter, and the two sides already have very strong cooperation in regard to security and counter-terrorism. During Modi’s Bahrain trip, which will be the first time that an Indian Prime Minister has visited the country, he will meet with the Prime Minister, Prince Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, to discuss similar issues. There will also be a banquet dinner hosted by Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain, in Modi’s honour. Modi is also to launch Manama’s renovation of the Shree Krishna (Shreenathji) temple.
The ties between the UAE and India were previously increased to that of a comprehensive strategic partnership when Modi previously visited the region in August 2015, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan also repaid the gesture with a visit to India in January 2017, being the chief guest during the Republic Day celebrations. The UAE is India’s third-biggest trade partner, with an annual bilateral trade of as much as $60bn.
Modi will no doubt have acquired travel insurance to cover him and his entourage on his travels, as should anyone who is travelling in or to the UAE, Bahrain, India, France or elsewhere. Travel insurance protects against illness, theft and other problems in foreign countries.