PM Modi to get UAE’s top civilian award for ‘big boost’ to ties
The United Arab Emirates announced on Thursday it will award its highest civilian honour to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “pivotal role” in boosting the strategic relationship between the two countries.
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan made the announcement about the Zayed Medal, the highest decoration awarded to kings, presidents and heads of states, being given to Modi.
“We have historical and comprehensive strategic ties with India, reinforced by the pivotal role of my dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who gave these relations a big boost. In appreciation of his efforts, the UAE President grants him the Zayed Medal,” Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed tweeted.
Tweeting his response to the Crown Prince, Modi said he accepted the honour “with utmost humility”. He added, “Under your visionary leadership, our strategic ties have reached new heights. This friendship is contributing to the peace and prosperity of our people and planet.”
Modi is likely to make a brief visit to the UAE on April 20 to receive the award and join the foundation stone laying ceremony of BAPS Hindu Mandir, the first temple in the West Asian country, people familiar with developments said. The trip, if it goes through, will be PM Modi’s last foreign visit in the current term and is expected to be hours-long, they added.
There was no official word on the visit. Asked about the matter at a regular news briefing, external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said: “As and when the next visit is planned, we will share the details with you as per the established norms.”
India, he said, has a strategic partnership with the UAE that has been strengthened in recent years. “Exchange of high-level visits between India and the UAE is an important component of this strategic partnership,” he added.
In 2017, the Crown Prince had gifted nearly 14 acres at Abu Mureikheh, midway between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, for building the temple. The Crown Prince, also deputy supreme commander of the UAE’s armed forces, said granting the Zayed Medal to Modi reflects the country’s “appreciation for his role and efforts in developing friendly relations and extending bridges of cooperation”.