His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, attended the celebration of India's 68th Republic Day Republic in New Delhi today, which was held at the official celebration area of Rajpath.
Upon his arrival at the Presidential Palace, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, was received by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, and both travelled in the official presidential motorcade to the celebration, where the Indian National Anthem was played and the Indian artillery fired a 21-gun salute.
A UAE Military Contingent opened the parade, with the participation of 149 soldiers from the country's Land, Navy, and Air Forces, along with the Presidential Guard, who were accompanied by a UAE Military Band of 35 personnel. The contingent was warmly received by the attending public.
Then followed the parades of Indian contingents, which included infantry unit formations from the Indian Army, Navy and Air Force, as well as a series of tableaux depicting the social, cultural, economic and technological facets of India.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan's participation in today s celebrations had a special significance as it reflected the close historical relations, as well as the mutual respect between the UAE and India.
The celebrations included cultural processions and folk performances, which reflected the diversity of cultures from the different regions of the country.
The reception at the Presidential Palace was also attended by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other high-ranking Indian officials, along with a senior delegation that accompanied His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Other guests included several economic and cultural delegations - more than 1,000 dignitaries.
In a statement to mark the occasion, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed expressed his happiness and appreciation at being invited to celebrate India s 68th Republic Day. He noted that the Indian people have always been characterised throughout history with their determination and perseverance.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed conveyed the regards of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE government and people to the government of India and its friendly people on the occasion. He appreciated his invitation to participate in this celebration, which he said, "reflects prestige, historic depth and cultural heritage of India, which is experiencing development boom in a manner that earns it world admiration and respect."
"The participation in the Republic Day celebrations demonstrates important connotations and meanings for present and future of relations between the UAE and the Republic of India," Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said.
He noted that the UAE - India relations have become a model for the distinguished relations based on strategic partnership, which strongly and confidently moves towards the future in the context of understanding, both at the level of bilateral ties, or with respect to regional and international challenges.
"The Republic Day, is the day on which the Indian constitution was endorsed. It lays strong foundations for the unity and major development. The Indian constitution is a milestone in the march of India towards building a political model based on the diversity and coexistence among faiths, different cultures and communities within a single national fabric that ensures unity and co-existence," Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed said.
He underlined that this model has enabled India over the past years to achieve development and stability at all levels.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed paid a rich tribute to historic Indian leader, Mahatma Gandhi, who had led the Indian people to the independence. "He has proven that wisdom and tolerance are the greatest strength, and even more influential than gunpowder," he added.
He stressed the humanity needs today more than ever to be inspired by the Gandhi's values and principles of tolerance, wisdom and coexistence.
Among others present were Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy National Security Advisor, Sheikh Dhiyab bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Affairs Authority, Mohammed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Court, Lt. General Hamad Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna, the UAE Ambassador to India, and a number of senior officials.