Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday was honoured by the UAE government, with President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan conferring the Zayed Medal on him.
The Zayed Medal - the UAE's highest civilian honour, awarded to kings, Presidents, and heads of states is named after UAE's founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was known for his humanitarian work and philanthropy. The award was conferred on PM Modi for boosting relations between the Emirates and India.
The announcement was tweeted by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, who called PM Modi his 'dear friend' and credited him with playing a pivotal role in reinforcing the historical and comprehensive strategic ties with India.
PM Modi has visited the UAE twice in three years and has signed a wide range of agreements. He has also launched a project to build Abu Dhabi's first Hindu stone temple in his most recent trip to UAE.
In an exclusive scoop, Republic has accessed the official document of the order of Zayed conferred on PM Narendra Modi:
The award also called the order of Zayed has previously been conferred upon the then Pakistani President - General Pervez Musharraf in 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2007, the Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth - Elizabeth II in 2010, the King of Saudi Arabia- Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2018, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President George W.Bush and French President Nicholas Sarkozy among others.
Among civilians, it has only been conferred upon Sepp Blatter, the 8th president of FIFA in 2003.
India's diplomatic ties with the UAE have become stronger since UAE disregarded Pakistan's protest had announced to receive Sushma Swaraj with 'full diplomatic protocol and honor for the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) foreign ministers conclave on February 28, 2019. This major diplomatic win for India had occurred amid the steep escalation between India-Pakistan relations, post the Pulwama attack.