Modi treats UAE’s President to roadshow

The Asian Age.  | Sridhar Kumaraswami

India, All India

Al Nahyan in India for investment summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes President of UAE Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his arrival for the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, at Ahmedabad airport. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday evening personally welcomed United Arab Emirates (UAE) President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the tarmac when the Arab leader’s aircraft landed in Ahmedabad ahead of the inauguration of the 10th Vibrant Gujarat Global summit that will take place on Wednesday morning in Gandhinagar.

The Prime Minister and the UAE President later held "warm" discussions on bilateral ties, after which four pacts were inked on investment in renewable energy, health care, food processing and green ports sectors.

Earlier, after the welcome ceremony, the two leaders participated in a roadshow. Thousands lined up on the roadshow route to get a glimpse of the leaders.

“Welcome to India, my brother. It’s an honour to have you visit us,” Mr Modi said later in a post on X, referring to his Arab guest, who was also welcomed at the tarmac by external affairs minister S. Jaishankar and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, among others.

The gesture by the Prime Minister to receive the UAE President on the tarmac is seen as reflective of the close ties between the two nations.

The visit of the UAE President comes ahead of the reported visit by the Prime Minister to the UAE next month for the inauguration of a Swaminarayan Temple in Abu Dhabi. Mr Modi had visited the UAE last month as well for the COP28 summit in Dubai and had met the host UAE President there.

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister also held two bilateral meetings with foreign leaders in Gandhinagar. Mr Modi met the President of Timor-Leste Jose Ramos Horta and President of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusi.

Mr Modi also had individual meetings with CEOs of top global corporations during the day. In the afternoon, he inaugurated the Vibrant Gujarat Global trade show in the presence of the Timor-Leste and Mozambique Presidents.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister will also be holding a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Petr Fiala of the Czech Republic, who will be reaching Ahmedabad on Tuesday night.

In light of the fact that an Indian national Nikhil Gupta is currently in prison in the Czech Republic after an extradition request by the United States in connection with an alleged plot to kill American citizen and pro-Khalistan extremist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun, it remains to be seen whether the issue comes up in discussions between the two nations.

On the meeting between the Prime Minister and Timor-Leste President, New Delhi stated, "The Prime Minister offered assistance to Timor-Leste in capacity building, human resource development, IT, fintech, energy and healthcare, including traditional medicine and pharma. He also invited Timor-Leste to join the International Solar Alliance and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure."

New Delhi added that Mr Horta thanked Mr Modi for the invitation to participate in the summit and sought support from India in meeting its development priorities.

The two leaders also discussed regional issues and developments in the Indo-Pacific. Mr Horta expressed strong support for India’s permanent membership in the UN Security Council.

On the meeting between the Prime Minister and the Mozambique President, New Delhi said, “Mr Modi expressed his strong commitment to support Mozambique’s development priorities. Both leaders held productive discussions on ways to further bilateral ties, including in the areas of defence, counterterrorism, energy, health, trade & investment, agriculture, water security, mining, capacity building and maritime cooperation.”

New Delhi added: “The two leaders also discussed issues related to cooperation in multilateral forums, including the UN."