Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan will be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations on 26 January 2017. The Crown Prince has accepted the Indian invitation.
His visit will give a strong boost to the bilateral ties between the two nations in key areas like trade and security. This is his second visit to India, earlier he came on a three-day-visit in February 2016.
This acceptance of the invitation by Sheikh Al Nahyan, who is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces, sends out an important message at a time when tensions between India and Pakistan are escalating. This can be treated as the masterstroke of the government, which is trying to isolate diplomatically over the issue of cross-border terrorism.
UAE is one of the closest allies of Pakistan and once the two nations along with Saudi Arabia recognised the Taliban government in Afghanistan.
Earlier during PM Modi’s visit to UAE in August 2015, the two countries condemned the act of terrorism that originates from one country to trouble the other. In a joint statement, the two countries rejected extremism and any link between terrorism and religion.
Apart from this, the Crown Prince will be the first leader from Gulf to be the Chief Guest of the Republic Day parade since 2006. In 2006, Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud was the chief guest on Republic Day.
In 2016 French President Francois Hollande was the chief guest on the occasion and in 2015 US President Barack Obama was the chief guest.
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When: 26 January 2017