PM Narendra Modi paid his condolences on the passing away of UAE's former president

Making a brief stopover in the UAE on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a warm welcome by UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Abu Dhabi airport.

PM Modi expressed gratitude and 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.”

Prime Minister Modi was in the UAE on his way back from the G7 Summit in Germany, to pay his condolences on the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the former president of the Gulf nation.

This was the first in-person meeting between the two leaders since August 2019, when Prime Minister Modi visited Abu Dhabi last.

Prime Minister Modi conveyed his heartfelt condolences to Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as well as family members. They included Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan (National Security Advisor), Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Dy Prime Minister), Sheikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MD, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority), Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) among others.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Prime Minister Modi 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.

"Both leaders reviewed various aspects of India-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership which they have carefully nurtured over the past few years," the MEA 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. CEPA is expected to further boost trade and investment between both countries, the MEA pointed out.

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.

According to the MEA, both leaders expressed satisfaction that India and UAE continue to forge closer partnership in these areas building on their close and friendly relations and historical people-to-people connect. India and UAE have a strong energy partnership which is now acquiring new focus on renewable energy.

Prime Minister Modi thanked UAE President and Abu Dhabi Ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan for taking great care of 3.5 million Indian community in UAE, especially during COVID-19 pandemic. He also invited Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to visit India at an early date, the MEA added.