Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was honoured with the UAE’s highest civilian award on Saturday to appreciate his effort to boost bilateral ties between the two regions, reported The Times of India.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Queen Elizabeth II and Chinese President Xi Jinping have previously been honoured with this award.
“The award in the name of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, acquires special significance as it was awarded to Prime Minister Modi in the year of the birth centenary of Sheikh Zayed,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement ahead of Modi’s visit.
In April, UAE announced that Modi would receive the “Order of Zayed”.
“A 3.3 million-strong vibrant Indian community in the UAE nourishes the vibrant people-to-people contacts between our two friendly countries,” the MEA statement read.
It also added that Modi’s visit would further strengthen ties between the two nations.
Modi was honoured by the Middle Eastern nation amid brutal crackdown in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
The region has been under lockdown since August 4, with freedom of movement restricted and phones and the internet cut.
A day later New Delhi scrapped Article 370 in the Indian constitution that had granted occupied Kashmir special status, splitting the state of occupied Jammu and Kashmir in two and downgrading them to union territories.
At least 152 people have been hurt by tear gas and pellets since security forces launched a sweeping crackdown, data from the Himalayan region’s two main hospitals shows, reported Reuters.