Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday met UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan here and conveyed his personal condolences on the demise of former president of the Gulf nation Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
In a special gesture, Sheikh Mohamed, accompanied by senior members of the Royal family, received Prime Minister Modi at the Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport.
"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," Modi tweeted in Arabic and English languages.
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. @MohamedBinZayed pic.twitter.com/8hdHHGiR0z— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 28, 2022
This is their first interaction after the UAE leader's election as the new president of the Gulf nation last month.
During his meeting with Sheikh Mohamed, Modi conveyed his personal condolences on the passing away of Sheikh Khalifa, who died on May 13 at the age of 73 after a long illness.
Modi had expressed grief over Sheikh Khalifa's death, calling him a great statesman and visionary leader under whom India-UAE relations prospered. India had announced one day of state mourning following the demise of Sheikh Khalifa.
Sheikh Khalifa was the eldest son of UAE’s founder President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He served as the President of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi from November 3, 2004.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu last month visited the UAE and offered condolences to the UAE leadership on the demise of Sheikh Khalifa. Modi arrived here on a brief visit after attending a productive G7 Summit in Germany where he interacted with several world leaders on the margins of the summit and discussed issues aimed at furthering global well-being and prosperity.
The last visit by Modi to the UAE was in August 2019 during which he received the UAE’s highest award, 'Order of Zayed’ conferred upon him by the UAE President.
The UAE was India's third-largest trading partner for the year 2019-20 after China and US, according to the Ministry of External Affairs. The UAE is the third-largest export destination of India (after the US and China) with an amount of nearly USD 16 billion for the year 2020-21.
For the UAE, India is the third-largest trading partner for the year 2020 with an amount of around USD 27.93 billion (non-oil trade).
Indian expatriate community of approximately 3.4 million is the largest ethnic community in UAE constituting roughly about 35 per cent of the country's population.
(with inputs from PTI)