India-UAE: Deepening Security Cooperation
STORIES, ANALYSES, EXPERT VIEWS
Deepening relations with the UAE are indicated by the latter deporting more than 100 fugitives to India over the last few years and helping India with real-time intelligence from Iraq and Syria in the past. Ahead of the 2020 Republic Day parade being held amid the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, the UAE offered their mobile anti-drone system for PM Modi’s security was the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Later this month, notes Shishir Gupta (Executive Editor, Hindustan Times) its air force will deploy its Airbus 330 multi-role transport tankers (MRTT) “to provide mid-air refuelling to the Rafale jets so that the fourth-generation-plus fighters can fly non-stop to India……This means that the second base of Rafale fighters, the strategically-located air force base in north Bengal’s Hasimara, will be activated by April. The deployment at this base, located close to the tri-junction of Sikkim, Bhutan and Tibet, will strengthen India’s air capability in India’s eastern sector manifold.
All of this reflects the close relationship that India and Abu Dhabi have built, particularly after PM Modi came to power in 2014. “While the two countries have deepened their economic relationship over the past few years - Abu Dhabi has also invested through the sovereign fund route - it is the defence relationship that has clearly taken off.
The UAE Navy has confirmed to its Indian and French counterparts that it will, for the first time, join the Varuna naval exercises to be held around the Gulf of Oman as the third partner between April 25 and 27.
But the relationship, writes Gupta “goes beyond issues of national security too.” Other than deporting fugitives to India and helping India with real-time intelligence from Iraq and Syria during the rise of the so-called Islamic State…… the UAE also helped India keep a watch on the Indian diaspora from getting sucked into the ultra-conservative Sunni movement and stopped them from joining the so-called Islamic State jihad in the Levant.”
The India-UAE relations, concludes Gupta, “are now a game-changer for the future.”