New Delhi, Feb. 10 (ANI): Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, arrived here this evening on a three-day visit to India.
Setting aside the protocol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the Crown Prince at the Air Force Station in Palam.
“A special welcome for a special friend. PM @narendramodi personally receives HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan,” Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted.
“A special honour 4 a special guest! Breaking protocol, PM receives Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Al Nahyan at airport,” tweeted Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
“History is made once again, as the first ever visit to India by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi begins,” he added.
It was for the second time that the Prime Minister set aside the protocol. He had earlier last month received US President Barak Obama during the latter’s visit to India.
Both leaders later shook hands and exchanged pleasantries. They also waved hands at mediapersons present at the venue.
It is the Crown Prince’s first state visit to India.
Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Anil Wadhwa, has said that the two countries would discuss ways to further enhance bilateral trade and investment.
India and UAE have committed to raise their bilateral trade by 60 percent in the next five years. Bilateral trade amounted to 59 billion dollars in 2014-15, making UAE the third largest trading partner of India.
Wadhwa said agreements in various sectors, including defence and trade, are likely to be inked between India and the UAE after the talks between the visiting dignitary and Prime Minister Modi at the Hyderabad House here tomorrow.
The grave issue of terrorism and the rising threat of ISIS are likely to figure during the talks between the two leaders.
The Crown Prince, who is accompanied by a high-level delegation, will also call on President Pranab Mukherjee.
New Delhi has vital stakes in the security and stability of the Gulf region, which hosts over seven million Indians. This region is also the source of nearly two-third of India’s crude oil requirements and is the country’s largest trading partner. (ANI)