President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan today awarded the "Order of Zayed" to Xi Jinping, President of China, in recognition and appreciation of his efforts to develop and strengthen the overall friendship and cooperation between the UAE and China.
His Highness Sheikh Khalifa presented the award during high-level meetings at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, where major strategic partnerships were signed.
With the attendance of the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, presented the Order of Zayed, which is the highest civilian honour awarded to kings and presidents.
President Xi expressed his happiness and pride at being awarded the honour, which carries the name of an international humanitarian leader, who won the respect of the people of the world for founding a civilised and modern state and for extending bridges of friendship, cooperation and peace with other countries.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said that the award is an expression of the UAE’s gratitude and appreciation for its longstanding friendship and cooperation with China.
He also praised the role of President Xi in strengthening their bilateral ties while wishing the Chinese people further progress, prosperity, security and stability.
Writing in the VIP guest book at the Presidential Palace, President Xi expressed his happiness at visiting the UAE and wished the country further progress and development, as well as prosperity and welfare to its people.
The Chinese President signed several copies of the Arabic translation of his book, "The Governance of China," and presented them to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed.
H.H. Sheikh Mohamed also presented a five-year-old purebred Arabian horse to President Xi, in honour of his state visit to the UAE and as a token of the close friendship and bonds between their countries.
The horse, Gay Gallardo Gay, won several regional and international championships in 2016, including the Menton Mediterranean and Arab Countries Arabian Horse Championship, the UN Cup, the European Cup and the Paris World Cup.