UAE President awards Indian ambassador Order of Zayed II

Envoys from India and Italy honoured in separate ceremonies in Abu Dhabi

The President, Sheikh Khalifa, conferred the Order of Zayed II first class on Navdeep Suri, the departing Indian ambassador to the UAE.

Mr Suri was given the honour in recognition of his efforts during his tenure and his contribution to the development and strengthening of relations between the UAE and India.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, presented the Order to the ambassador during a meeting at the ministry in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

Sheikh Abdullah praised the ambassador for his role in bolstering UAE-Indian relations and wished him success in his future assignments.

Mr Suri said a clear road map outlined by the leaders of each country helped strengthen the bonds between them.

"I'm deeply humbled and touched to receive this," Mr Suri told The National.

“We were simply doing our job so to get recognition of such a stature is truly a very special feeling. Our job was to take relations between India and the UAE to even greater heights and to try to realise a vision outlined by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

The Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces recently presented the Order of Zayed, the nation's highest civilian award, to Mr Modi for forging close ties between the two countries.

“We have seen enormous strides being made over the last three years in trade and investment, energy sector cooperation, defence, intelligence cooperation and political coordination between the leadership,” Mr Suri said.

“We inherited a very strong road map in terms of the comprehensive strategic partnership agreement and that opened up entirely new vistas for co-operation. The challenge for us has been to give flesh and blood to that vision to translate it into reality.”

This week, Sheikh Khalifa also conferred the Order of Independence, First Class, on Italian ambassador to the UAE, Liborio Stellino.

The award was again presented by Sheikh Abdullah, who thanked Mr Stellino for his work in strengthening ties between the countries and wished him the best for the future.

The Italian ambassador thanked Sheikh Khalifa and all of the government bodies for their support in making his job a success.