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Business News/ Politics / Policy/  UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to attend Republic Day
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UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to attend Republic Day

Previous instances of dignitaries from the Gulf region invited as chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations include Iranian president Mohammed Khatami in 2003

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown prince of Abu Dhabi. Photo: APPremium
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown prince of Abu Dhabi. Photo: AP

New Delhi: Underlining the importance of the resource rich Gulf region to India—the source of most of India’s fuel as well as a region that hosts a large number of Indian expatriates—New Delhi has invited the Crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as the chief guest at its Republic Day Parade next year.

“We hope 2 welcome a dear friend of India, HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, as Republic Day 2017 Chief Guest," said a Twitter post by Indian external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup on Sunday.

Previous instances of dignitaries from the Gulf region invited as chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations include Iranian president Mohammed Khatami in 2003 and the Saudi king King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud in 2006.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the United Arab Emirates last August and played host to Crown Prince Zayed in February. Zayed is also the deputy supreme commander of the armed forces of the UAE.

The UAE is seen as close to India’s arch rival Pakistan and opposed to Shia majority Iran with whom India is trying to refashion ties now that some sanctions imposed on Iran for its suspect nuclear programme have ended.

It is against this backdrop that India has been making efforts to shore up close ties with this key Gulf country.

A UAE government study earlier this year revealed that the Gulf country is the largest Arab investor country in India, accounting for 81.2% of the total Arab investments in India and is ranked 11th in the world in terms of foreign direct investments in India.

The total UAE investments in India amounted to $8 billion, including $2.89 billion in the form of direct foreign investments. UAE investments in India are concentrated in construction (16%), energy (14%), metallurgy (10%), services sector (10%), computer software and hardware (5%), it said.

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Published: 02 Oct 2016, 10:07 PM IST
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