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| 08 February, 2018

UAE, India think-tanks ink pact on research

Emirates Policy Centre is the first woman-led independent think-tank in the region.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

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UAE - Breaking new grounds in the level of UAE-India engagements, two top think-tanks on Thursday inked a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in areas of research and partnership. This is the first of many agreements to be signed in various areas as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit the UAE from Saturday.

The Emirates Policy Centre (EPC) and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) will collaborate in areas of international peace, security, technology, space and cyber security among others.

Emirates Policy Centre president Dr Ebtesam Al Ketbi said the MoU is a great opportunity and part of the strategy to diversify its partnership.

"The MoU between two think-tanks shows the development of the relation between the two countries. We will have joint research projects, events, dialogue, conferences, etc. It is an honour, especially as it comes before the visit of the Indian Prime Minister. This shows the deep relation between two countries in many sectors," Ebtesam told Khaleej Times after signing the MoU at Emirates Policy Centre head office in Abu Dhabi.

Emirates Policy Centre is the first woman-led independent think-tank in the region. Ebtesam said as a start, there will be a joint workshop and research in Abu Dhabi and in India.

Meanwhile, Observer Research Foundation chairman Sunjoy Joshi said New Delhi-based think-tank has for the first time engaged in collaboration in the Gulf region.

"We are accepting EPC as one of our partner organisation whereby we will start regular process of dialogue. We institute a forum together, which is held alternately in New Delhi and Abu Dhabi. Experts can talk about what's happening in the region and in India. This is very important for us."

He noted that soon there will be conferences and joint collaborative research on technology, space, cyber security and host of other areas.

"The first step is the joint dialogue on bilateral issues and trying to understand each other's perspectives," Joshi noted.

The ORF holds multiple international conferences including a flagship multilateral conference called the Raisina Dialogue in collaboration with the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. The conference hosts top business leaders, journalists, civil society members and foreign delegates including prime ministers and other foreign ministers and officials.

And Joshi hoped that soon both think-tanks can jointly host the Raisina Dialogue.

"The EPC participated in Raisina Dialogue 2018. We are now trying to deepen this relationship," he added.

Director of West Asia Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ahmed Al Hameli and Ambassador of India to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri took part in the MoU signing.

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