President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has conferred on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the Zayed Medal, the highest decoration awarded to kings, presidents and heads of states. The award comes in appreciation of Modi’s role in consolidating the long-standing friendship and joint strategic cooperation between the two countries.
Commenting on the announcement, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said the Indian Prime Minister had played a pivotal role in enhancing bilateral ties to the level of comprehensive strategic relations.
"By granting our dear friend the Indian Prime Minister the Zayed Medal, we express our appreciation for his role and efforts in developing friendly relations and extending bridges of cooperation between the UAE and the Republic of India in various fields," His Highness added.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed explained that the historical relationship that the UAE shares with India is being renewed strategically and strengthened in preparation for the future. He praised the values that characterise Indian society in its diversity, especially tolerance, coexistence and respect.
His Highness expressed his pride at the strong friendship and cooperation between the UAE and India, and wished the country and its people continued progress, prosperity, security and stability.
Modi receiving Zayed Medal a 'historic' moment, say Indian officials
Indian officials expressed their happiness and gratitude following the announcement that President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan conferred on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the Zayed Medal.
Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India, said via her Twitter account, "On behalf of the people of India, I express our deep sense of gratitude to His Highness the President, His Highness the Crown Prince of UAE for this great honour," adding that this gesture is an honour for the country and its people.
The minister went on to praise Modi's "stellar role" in ushering in a new era of strategic partnership with UAE and the "best ever relations with the Islamic world."
The Ambassador of India to the UAE, Navdeep Suri, also shared his positive sentiments, describing the occasion as an "historic moment" that marks a "truly golden era" in the bilateral relations between the two countries.
In a statement, Suri said that granting the Zayed Medal to Prime Minister Modi is "testimony to the dramatic transformation that we have witnessed in our ties ever since Prime Minister's landmark visit in August 2015."
He then went on to note that the vision of both country's leadership has shown positive results, with "ever-expanding contours" in the strategic partnerships between the UAE and India.
"We saw this manifest in the initiative taken by UAE to invite our Minister for External Affairs as Chief Guest at the meeting of OIC Foreign Ministers that was held in Abu Dhabi in March. We have seen a steady flow of investments by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and by other major entities into areas like housing, highways, renewable energy, financial markets and even in stressed assets.
"In the energy sector, we have seen India being awarded with a new onshore oil concession in Abu Dhabi. Our first strategic petroleum reserve has taken off in partnership with ADNOC and discussions are in progress for a second, even larger strategic reserve. ADNOC and ARAMCO have also agreed to a strategic tie-up for our mega West Coast refinery project. We are putting together an ambitious India-UAE food corridor. And we are seeing unprecedented cooperation in our defense and security ties," Suri noted.
"Even in the field of culture," he added, "we had the privilege of hosting Sharjah as the Guest of Honour at the Delhi International Book Fair and later this month, we will be here with a similar status at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair."
The Ambassador concluded by praising the many dimensions of the bilateral ties, adding that "the mutual respect and understanding between our leaders and their clear direction" have made UAE-India ties a "model for other countries to emulate."