Abu Dhabi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met UAE’s newly-appointed President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan here and the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to further deepen and diversify the bilateral Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Modi met Sheikh Mohamed during a brief stopover here on his way to India from Germany to personally convey his condolences on the demise of the former president of the Gulf nation Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In a special gesture, Sheikh Mohamed, accompanied by senior members of the Royal family, received Prime Minister Modi at the Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport.
“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,” Modi tweeted.
This is their first interaction after the UAE leader’s election as the new president of the Gulf nation last month.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi conveyed his heartfelt condolences to Sheikh Mohamed as well as Royal family members, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release.
“Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was a widely respected statesman who worked tirelessly for the people. In Abu Dhabi, expressed condolences on his demise to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” Modi tweeted in Arabic and English languages.
Modi had expressed grief over Sheikh Khalifa’s death last month, 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 died on May 13 at the age of 73 after a long illness. He 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, until 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.
During the meeting, Modi also congratulated Sheikh Mohamed on his election as the third President of the UAE and became the Ruler of Abu Dhabi, the release said.
Both leaders reviewed various aspects of the India-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which they have carefully nurtured over the past few years, it added.
During their Virtual Summit on February 18, both countries signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, which has since entered into force on May 1. The CEPA is expected to further boost trade and investment between both countries.
Bilateral trade in FY 2021-22 was about USD 72 billion. UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner and second-largest export destination. UAE FDI in India has continuously increased over the past few years and currently stands at over USD 12 billion.
During the Virtual Summit, both leaders had also released a Vision Statement which has laid the roadmap for bilateral cooperation in coming years in diverse areas including trade, investment, energy including renewable energy, food security, health, defence, skills, education, culture and people-to-people ties.