Here’s Why India Invited The UAE Crown Prince For Its R-Day CelebrationsPrime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) wave to the crowd (PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images)

The Indian government has invited the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, to be the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations in January 2017.

The message is loud and clear – India is beefing up ties with those classified as Pakistan’s closest allies.

The relationship between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan hit a dead end when Islamabad decided to remain neutral on the crisis in Yemen. Interestingly enough, a state minister in UAE’s Foreign Ministry warned Pakistan of paying a “heavy price” for its “ambiguous stand”.

While the acceptance of the Indian invitation that went out earlier this year can be seen as a reciprocation of Modi’s UAE visit, the deeper message in reciprocation is the growth of economic, defence and strategic partnership between the two countries.

The UAE has also been a credible partner of India’s in the latter’s fight against terrorism. The two countries have signed several pacts and extradition treaties for cooperation towards that end.

India receives over 50 per cent of its remittances from the Gulf region, a major chunk of which comes from the UAE. The country is India’s third-largest trading partner with over $60 billion in bilateral trade. It is also set to invest in India’s infrastructure development drive in the future.

These factors, coupled with India’s bid to isolate Islamabad on the global stage, make this move a masterstroke.

Also Read: India And UAE: A Partnership Against Terrorism

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