The Indian government has invited the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to be the next chief guest at Indias Republic Day parade of 2017.
The Indian government has invited His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces, to be the chief guest at the country’s 68th Republic Day celebrations in 2017.
“It’s a matter of great privilege and honour for us,” Indian embassy charge d’affaires Neeta Bhushan said after the announcement. “It is a testimony to the vibrancy of our bilateral relations that frequent visits are taking place at the highest level…the Indian community here in the UAE is very happy to hear this news”.
This is the first time that a leader of UAE will be honoured with the invitation of being the chief guest at the Republic Day parade. The United Arab Emirates has accepted the invitation and the country will be represented by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The warm relations between the UAE and India were highlighted in February, 2016 when a UAE delegation that included Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, made a historic three-day visit to India. Shaikh Mohammed’s visit was preceded by an August 2015 visit by Prime Minister Modi to the UAE, during which the two countries agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in a number of areas, including trade, investment, security, counter-terrorism, joint defence production, space programmes, IT and electronics.
India is also the largest importer of goods from the UAE, buying about 14.9 per cent of its exports and about 9% of its re-exports, becoming the second-largest market of the UAE in the latter category. By 2020, the total value of trade exchanges between the UAE and India is also expected to hit $100 billion.
Till date, 58 foreign heads of states have attended India’s Republic Day celebrations as guests of honour. French President Francoise Hollande was the guest of honour last year.
by Ashwani Srivastava