India and UAE on Thursday discussed the threats posed by the Islamic State (IS), increasing radicalisation of young people, and the need for a joint effort to counter terrorism during wide-ranging talks focusing on deepening security cooperation and expanding bilateral trade. 

    New Delhi also made a strong case for action on pending extradition requests for certain individuals wanted in India. The discussions took place at a ministerial commission meeting, held barely a fortnight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE, the first by an Indian PM in 34 years. 

    External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her visiting counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan co-chaired the meeting.

    The two sides signed MOUs on cooperation in several areas, including higher education and scientific research, tourism, cooperation between the respective telecom regulatory authorities, and also between the FICCI and the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

    A government statement said the two sides agreed to increase bilateral trade by 60% over the next five years and also to encourage the UAE’s investment institutions to raise their stake in India, with an aim of reaching a target of US$ 75 billion.

    The visiting UAE minister also called on Modi and held meetings with defence minister and railways minister before attending a dinner hosted by national security adviser Ajit Doval. PM Modi recalled his successful visit to the UAE and said it had “charted a new course” in bilateral relations that would not only be beneficial for the two countries but also contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia and beyond.

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