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The United Arab Emirates calls downgrade occupied Kashmir’s status is an internal matter of India.

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This muted response is underpinned by more than $100 billion in annual trade with India that makes it one of the Arabian Peninsula’s most prized economic partners.

Gulf Arab countries have remained mostly quiet as India’s government moved to strip the Indian-occupied sector of Kashmir of its restricted freedom, forcing a sweeping military curfew in the argued Muslim-majority region and cutting off citizens from all communication and the internet.

Regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia urged restraint and expressed concern over the brewing crisis. Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman, did not publish any statements.

“The United Arab Emirates has gone a step further by openly siding with India, describing the choice to downgrade occupied Kashmir’s status an internal matter”.

The ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Ahmed al-Banna, was mentioned in local media in both countries as saying the changes in Kashmir “would improve social justice and security and further stability and peace.”

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The ambassador of the United Arab Emirates expressed hope that this decision of the Indian government would help improve the social and economic conditions and welfare of the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Where Indians outnumber Emiratis three to one. Reciprocal trade exceeded $50 billion in 2018, making India the UAE’s second-largest trade partner. Indian investments in the UAE amount to $55 billion and Indians are the largest foreign investors in Dubai’s real estate business.

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According to Indian Ministry of External Affairs. Meantime, DP World, Dubai’s global port operator, has plans to develop a logistics hub in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

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