Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said he was touched by the special gesture of the current UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for personally receiving him on his arrival at the Abu Dhabi airport. Modi arrived in the UAE on a brief visit to convey his personal condolences on the demise of former president of the Gulf nation and Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
I am touched by the special gesture of my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, of coming to welcome me at Abu Dhabi airport. My gratitude to him. @MohamedBinZayed pic.twitter.com/8hdHHGiR0z
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 28, 2022
“His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and members of the Royal family came all the way to the airport to meet and interact with PM Modi here itself, so that PM did not have to go all the way to the city, said MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.
Namaskar, from Abu Dhabi airport!
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) June 28, 2022
The Prime Minister arrived here after attending a productive G7 Summit in Germany where he interacted with several world leaders on the margins of the summit and discussed issues aimed at furthering global well-being and prosperity. In the UAE, Modi will convey his personal condolences on the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa, who died on May 13 at the age of 73 after a long illness.
Modi had expressed grief over his death, calling him a great statesman and visionary leader under whom India-UAE relations prospered. India had announced one day of state mourning following the demise of Sheikh Khalifa.
Sheikh Khalifa was the eldest son of UAE’s founder President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He served as the President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi from November 3, 2004 till his death. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu last month visited the UAE and offered condolences to the UAE leadership on the demise of Sheikh Khalifa.
The last visit by Modi to the UAE was in August 2019 during which he received the UAE’s highest award, ’Order of Zayed’ conferred upon him by the UAE President. During a special briefing ahead of Modi’s visit on June 24, Foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra said the Prime Minister will hold a meeting with Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and it will be their first interaction after the UAE leader’s election as the new president of the Gulf nation.
The UAE was India’s third-largest trading partner for the year 2019-20 after China and US, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. The UAE is the third-largest export destination of India (after the US and China) with an amount of nearly USD 16 billion for the year 2020-21.
For the UAE, India is the third-largest trading partner for the year 2020 with an amount of around USD 27.93 billion (non-oil trade). Indian expatriate community of approximately 3.4 million is the largest ethnic community in UAE constituting roughly about 35 per cent of the country’s population.
(With inputs from PTI)