Narendra Modi receives Mohammed bin Zayed in Delhi
Web Report khaleejtimes
Filed on January 24, 2017 | Last updated on January 24, 2017 at 04.35 pm
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today received the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces, His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Delhi Airport. Modi can be seen receiving him with the warm hug he is known for as he came out of the flight.
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 24, 2017
Shaikh Mohammed is here on a three-day visit to be part of the Republic Day celebrations in the capital.
Mohamed bin Zayed arrives in New Delhi on a state visit to India to take part as Chief Guest in Republic Day celebrations; received by PM
— أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 24, 2017
India & UAE share strong bonds of friendship & extensive cooperation. Looking forward to building on this & further cementing ties. @MBZNews
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 24, 2017
Attendance to Republic Day celebrations is considered the highest honour that India can bestow on a foreign dignitary, as invitations are traditionally made to India’s most important strategic partners and regional allies. In recent years, other leaders who have attended include French President Francoise Hollande, US President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdallah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
In a recent interview with Khaleej Times, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Singh Suri noted that the invitation is a “milestone” in the relationship between the two nations. “Every year India receives 30 or 40 heads of state or heads of governments. Overall, we have 90 plus high-level visitors to India each year, but only one of them is chosen to be a chief guest for Republic Day. This is an indication of the importance that India is giving to this relationship,” he said.
“The visit also sends a message to more than a billion Indians who are watching the Republic Day Parade that ‘look, this visitor and this country are very important to us’,” he added. “So, apart from the fact that the world’s eyes are on India’s Republic Day event, there will be a focus on the ‘Chief Guest of the Day’. In terms of the symbolism that when we have His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed with us, it is significant.”
Aside from being a sign of friendship and cordial ties, Republic Day invitations are most often accompanied by high-level discussions designed to improve bilateral ties in the future and lay the groundwork for enhanced bilateral ties in the future. In the case of Shaikh Mohammed’s upcoming visit, these talks will improve on previous agreements made during a previous visit to India in February 2016, as well as by Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE in August the previous year.
During the visit, Shaikh Mohammed will hold official talks with Modi, as well as with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee. He will also discuss with senior Indian officials ways in which the two countries can further strengthen cooperation in a number of areas, as well as explore ways in which the two countries can tackle regional and global issues.
In particular, Ambassador Suri said that he hoped that Shaikh Mohammed’s visit will have the end result of a complete Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with the UAE. “Hopefully, we will finalise this new and broad agreement during the visit,” he said, adding that doing so would open the doors to further cooperation in the future.
“We always talk about energy, security, about Indian community and labour issues, but now we are talking about defence cooperation, collaboration between security agencies and a common fight against terrorism and radicalisation around the world,” he said.
Additionally, Suri noted that the countries are discussing “translating into reality” the UAE’s previous commitment to invest $75 billion into India’s National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), which was first mentioned during Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE in 2015. In 2016, the Union Cabinet gave its post-facto approval for an MoU regarding the long-term investments.