While the US-imposed sanctions on Iran has put India’s energy security in jeopardy, UAE Ambassador to India Ahmed Al Banna has allayed fears of an oil shortage, saying his country as well as Saudi Arabia can fill in if supply from Iran is disrupted.
“In the international market, the law of demand and supply controls the prices,” Al Banna told the IANS agency in an exclusive interview when asked about rising fuel prices in India.
Earlier this year, the first consignment of two million barrels of crude oil from the UAE for India’s strategic petroleum reserve in Karnataka’s Mangaluru landed on the west coast. This consignment fills one of the two strategic reserve caverns at Mangaluru under an agreement between Adnoc and the Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd (ISPRL).
Albanna also highlighted the close ties between India and the UAE which were elevated to that of a Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Gulf nation in August 2015, the first prime ministerial visit from India to that country in 34 years.
This was followed by the visit of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to India Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2016 and then again in 2017 as the chief guest for India’s Republic Day celebrations. Modi again visited the UAE last year where he delivered the keynote address at the World Government Summit in Dubai.
Stating that India is one of the first countries with which the UAE has signed a strategic agreement, he said there are collaborations at many different levels. “If we look at the bilateral trade between the UAE and India, India is trading partner number one (for the UAE) with a total value of $57 billion,” Al Banna said.