"Special gesture of my brother": UAE President greets Modi with a hug
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was greeted by UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with a warm embrace today as the former made a brief stopover at Abu Dhabi on his return from the G-7 summit in Munich.
With the special gesture, Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, welcomed Modi at Abu Dhabi airport.
The Indian PM and the UAE President hugged each other on the airport tarmac.
Senior ministers of the UAE royal family also accompanied President Zayed, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
"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.
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. @MohamedBinZayed pic.twitter.com/8hdHHGiR0z
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 28, 2022
The Indian PM today called on the UAE president in the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since August 2019 when Modi had visited Abu Dhabi last.
The main purpose of Modi's visit was to convey his personal condolences on the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan last month, an Indian PMO readout said tonight.
The Indian PM also congratulated Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his election as the third President of the UAE and becoming the ruler of Abu Dhabi, and invited him to visit India at an early date.
Both leaders, during the interaction, reviewed different aspects of the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and UAE, which they have carefully nurtured over the past few years.
PM @narendramodi arrives in Abu Dhabi.
In a special gesture, UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, accompanied by senior members of the Royal Family, was at Abu Dhabi airport for the interaction with PM. pic.twitter.com/hVBY31TjIy
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) June 28, 2022
During a virtual summit earlier on February 18, India and UAE signed the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement which went into force on May 1. The CEPA is expected to further boost trade and investment between the two countries.
Bilateral trade between India and UAE was about US$ 72 billion in FY 2021-22. UAE is India's third largest trade partner and second largest export destination. UAE's foreign direct investment (FDI) in India has continuously increased over the past few years and currently stands at over US$ 12 billion.
India and UAE also have a strong energy partnership which is now acquiring new focus on renewable energy.
An estimated 3.5 million Indians live in UAE.