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UAE hosts India PM Modi after blasphemy row

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi on 29 June, 2022 [@narendramodi/Twitter]
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi on 29 June, 2022 [@narendramodi/Twitter]

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Abu Dhabi yesterday where he was warmly embraced by President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed (MBZ).

Modi also offered his condolences on the death of MBZ's predecessor, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, who passed away on 13 May at the age of 73. The prime minister also congratulated MBZ on being elected president by the country's Federal Supreme Court.

MBZ, for his part, praised the Indian community's contribution to the development and progress of the UAE since its establishment.

According to state news agency WAM, the two statesmen reiterated their support to enhance bilateral trade and strategic cooperation between both countries.

READ: India arrests Modi critic, Muslim journalist over 2018 tweet

"I am touched by the special gesture of my brother, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, of coming to welcome me at Abu Dhabi airport. My gratitude to him," Modi tweeted.

The Indian premier's one-day visit to the UAE follows his attendance of the G7 Summit in Germany, comes weeks after a diplomatic row erupted between New Delhi and the Gulf states over blasphemous remarks about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) made by a now-dismissed spokesperson for the ruling Hindu-nationalist BJP party, Nurpur Sharma.

The comments led to several Muslim countries, including the UAE,  condemning India, while Iran, Qatar and Kuwait summoned their Indian envoys. Indian products in several Gulf states were also removed from shelves, amid calls on social media for an economic boycott against India.

READ: UAE suspends re-exports of Indian wheat, as global shortages loom

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