Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE), home to a large number of Indians, recognises that "India is now a spearhead of the future markets and a nation of immense power and presence", a leading UAE daily said in an editorial Tuesday.
"India will naturally like to see the UAE as a friend and ally. With the massive Indian presence in situ the UAE also sees that as a bridge to a wider market, a potentially exponential market in which to invest especially in the areas of communication, energy, power and education as well as trade and commerce," the Khaleej Times said.
The editorial came a day after Indian President Pratibha Patil met her UAE counterpart, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi, and held talks on a wide range of topics in politics, economy, culture, science and current regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Patil is on a nine-day, two-nation visit to the UAE and Syria, aimed at enhancing economic and energy ties with the region. Apart from Abu Dhabi in the UAE, she would travel to Dubai and Sharjah.
"The message from both leaders comes out strongly: Partners in business but above all, friends first and always," the editorial said.
"The Indian president was fulsome in her praise for the enormous strides taken by the UAE in recent years and recognized its pragmatic leadership and its role in the region as well as on the global stage."
According to the paper, Khalifa praised the role played by the Indian community in the UAE`s "nation building".
Patil "echoed much the same sentiment in lauding the UAE`s role in bolstering international peace and security".
Her comments "are certain to foster not just goodwill for now but a long-term strategic partnership", the daily said.
"With both nations having similar views on security, peace and the common enemies of mankind like disease, poverty and injustice, the new era in the relationship will certainly ensure that these two countries not only positively exploit a closeness that is rooted deep in the centuries of the past but move forward to the same beat in tackling the problems of tomorrow."
Patil heads to Syria Nov 26. This will be the first presidential visit to that country from India. She will hold talks with President Bashar Al Assad in Damscus.