New Delhi:India-United Arab Emirates (UAE) ties, built on decades of private sector and people to people contacts, have now been “modernised" with the two governments moving in to give it a “strategic edge" in the past two-three years, UAE deputy foreign minister Anwar Gargash said Wednesday.

In the new relationship, counter-terrorism cooperation, defence and security ties including military exercises besides energy and investment have been added to the existing mix of trade and tourism, Gargash said, crediting a reservoir of political will and trust on both sides for the amplification of ties.

“We are just in the beginning of modernising this relationship, recognising what we can do together," he said at an event organised by the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation think tank.

India-UAE ties moved into a new trajectory with the August 2015 visit to Abu Dhabi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. One of the key outcomes of that visit, the first by an Indian prime minister in 34 years, was a strong pledge to counter terrorism and the two sides agreeing to the setting up of a multi-billion dollar fund to tap into investment opportunities in India’s infrastructure sector. Under the latter agreement, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority is to invest $75 billion in India over a 10-year period. Out of the total, an amount of $1 billion has already been transferred to India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.

On terrorism, Gargash said the two sides were cooperating closely, though he did not go into specifics.

Earlier this month, India got custody of Farooq Takla, a close aide of fugitive criminal Dawood Ibrahim after authorities in the UAE deported him to Mumbai. Takla is also an accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.

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