Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that strengthening ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the most important foreign policy priority of the Indian government, adding he was glad that the latter attached similar importance to the bilateral relations.
“Strengthening the relationship is one of the most important foreign policy priorities of my government. I am happy that the leadership of the UAE attaches similar importance to relations with India. With unstinted commitment and cooperation from both sides, we have come a long way in the last five years. But for this relationship, even the sky is not the limit," PM Modi was quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times during an event in his ongoing visit to the Gulf country.
PM Modi added: "I am happy that our relations with the UAE have developed from a mere buyer-seller relationship to that of a comprehensive strategic partnership in the last four years. This reflects convergence of interests and the keen interest taken by both in promoting the unprecedented synergy in the relationship for shared security, peace and prosperity."
PM Modi reached Abu Dhabi, UAE on Friday on the second leg of his three-nation visit.
PM Modi would be conferred with the highest civilian award by the United Arab Emirates as his visit to the Islamic nation draws to a close on Saturday.
The UAE will award PM Modi with the Order of Zayed, which was conferred earlier in April 2019 in recognition of his distinguished leadership for giving a big boost to bilateral relations between the two countries, an MEA statement said.
To this end, PM Modi said, "I feel very honoured to receive the UAE's highest civil honour, the Order of Zayed. It is testimony to our growing partnership and is also an honour for the entire Indian nation of 1.3 billion people."
PM Modi also heaped praises on the UAE Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, referring to him as his brother and said the two shared enormous goodwill and mutual respect.
“The Crown Prince and I regard each other as brothers. We have developed enormous goodwill and mutual respect. I believe that the excellent rapport between the two of us is an important driving force in realising the true potential of our relationship,” PM Modi said.
Furthermore, PM Modi termed UAE’s commitment to invest $75 billion in India as ‘gamechanger’. He added the India-UAE relationship was a strategic partnership based on shared vision and objectives.
PM Modi also spoke about terrorism.
“Terrorism and extremism are a threat to humankind. It is the responsibility of everyone to oppose them with all the force at their command. India and the UAE have rapidly expanded their cooperation for security, based not only on their common concerns but also their shared values," he said..