His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, will be the chief guest for Indian Republic Day in New Delhi on January 26, 2017.
The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup extended the invitation to the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince for the country’s 68th celebration through a tweet.
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 pic.twitter.com/aC5EkjFiCg
— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) October 2, 2016
In a letter to India’s prime minister, Shaikh Mohammad expressed thanks for the invitation to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations, according to a tweet from his official twitter account on Sunday evening.
“Our strong relations are deeply rooted in history; our strategic cooperation has increased, driven by our mutual aspirations to develop it,” Shaikh Mohammad said.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is home to more than two million expatriate Indians and comes a little over a year after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in August 2016.
The last time a leader from the Gulf region graced the Republic Day as chief guest was when then King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud visited India in 2006.
Last year India welcomed French President Francois Holland as the Chief Guest and he was the fifth head of state from France to be invited for the same. The first Republic Day chief guest was Indonesian President Dr Sukarno in 1950.
Till date, a total of 58 foreign heads of state have participated as chief guests for the Indian Republic Day celebrations.