Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces was in India as Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations.
The Constitution of India came into force on January 26, 1950. India celebrated its 68th Republic Day on Thursday with a military parade at the Rajpath, or “King’s Way”, the ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi. Scroll down to read and watch the events as they unveiled....
State visit concludes
The State Visit of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to India from 24th to 26th January as the Chief Guest of India's 68th Republic Day celebrations marked a momentous occasion in relations between India and the UAE, said a joint statement at the conclusion of Shaikh Mohammad's visit to India.
The statement added that the strong bonds of friendship between UAE and India have found clear expression in the series of high-level bilateral visits between the two countries in the past two years, noting that the visit afforded a timely opportunity to both Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to further build upon their close and regular consultations which began in August 2015.
Watch: Shaikh Mohammad bin Zayed attends the Republic Day parade in India with delegates from the UAE. #MarhabaHindustan
Watch: Indian black cat commandos march during the Indian Republic Day parade. Video by Chiranjib Sengupta/Gulf News
Watch: Republic Day parade in India — Tableaus, brass band, tanks and more. Video by Chiranjib Sengupta/Gulf News
Historic bond celebrated
Chiranjib Sengupta is reporting from India on Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan's visit.
India and the UAE celebrated the bonds of their historic friendship in glorious fashion this morning, with a contingent of 179 UAE soldiers marching on Rajpath for the first time as a part of India's 68th Republic Day parade.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who was the Chief Guest for the occasion, witnessed the parade flanked by Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It was a historic and proud moment for the UAE and the Arab world, with its troops comprising a mix from the army, navy and air force leading the parade.
The UAE contingent was led by Brig Obaid Al Zahumi, while Major General Rajesh Sahai was the second in command from the Indian side. The UAE contingent's march was as impressive as the delightful tune of Kaptien that the band played along.
From a 21-gun salute that accompanied the Indian national anthem to initiate the day's proceedings to a stunning display by motor cycle daredevils from the Indian army, the Republic Day ceremony stood out in all its splendour despite the occasional drizzle and overcast skies.
The morning started with the arrival of Shaikh Mohammad and Mukherjee to the specially-made enclosure on Rajpath — the arterial highway on New Delhi that connects the presidential palace to the India Gate. Shaikh Mohammad was received by Modi and following Republic Day protocol, he presented to the Chief Guest and the President the Indian ministers of defence, the three military service chiefs and the defence secretary.
Following the national anthem, three helicopters flew past in a formation, unfurling the Indian flag.
A march by various army columns, specially the mechanised ones displaying the Bhishma T-90 tanks and the Brahmos and Akash missile defence systems drew gasps of amazement from the thousands of people who had gathered since early in the morning, among them several UAE ministers, top officials, business delegates and other dignitaries from the country.
In a series of tweets, Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed applauded the decades-old special friendship between the UAE and India.
“I am very delighted and honored to share Republic Day celebrations with the Indian people. India sends a civilised message to the rest of the world as its people - from diverse ethnicities, religions and sects - celebrate in unity,” he said. The UAE is the second country after France to send its troops to participate in the Indian Republic Day parade.
Among the highlights of the spectacular ceremony were a march by the BSF Camel Contingent – the world’s only camel-mounted armed forces, enchanting tableaux from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu showcasing traditional folk dances of the states, a display of Yak dance from Arunachal Pradesh, an enticing musical serenade by the Goan tableau and a stunning display of skills by the Indian army’s motorcycle daredevils.
In typical Republic Day fashion, India also showcased several government initiatives in the social, industrial and technology sectors through innovative tableaux displays, such as the Clean India Green India initiative, the 75th anniversary of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Save the Girl Child campaign by the Haryana government and the Prime Minister’s Urban Housing scheme.
Earlier, a steady drizzle failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of people who began assembling around the boulevard from early morning. A massive security lockdown was in place since Wednesday night, with policemen and special forces from Delhi Police fanning out throughout the city to keep a watchful eye. Posters notifying the public of the closure of key roads, traffic diversions and rules for the temporary security protocol were posted on every street corner and junction, as ubiquitous as the flags of the UAE around the key streets and landmarks of Delhi. But despite the long queues for the general public to enter and the downpour, the crowd seemed to enjoy every moment of a carnival atmosphere.
Watch: Crowd gathers for Republic Day Parade in India. Video by Chiranjib Sengupta/Gulf News
Watch: Republic Day tableau in New Delhi, India. Video by Chiranjib Sengupta/Gulf News
Watch: Scenes from the Republic Day Parade in India where Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed is the chief guest. #MarhabaHindustan#UAE_IndiaDosti
Watch: Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed arrives for the Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India. Video by Chiranjib Sengupta/Gulf News
Watch: #UAE troops march during the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi, India.
There’s a great cultural display alongside a military parade during the Republic Day event across India today.
It marks the 68th year after the Constitution of India first came into force on January 26, 1950.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed, chief guest of the event, says India sends a civilised message to the rest of the world as its people — from diverse ethnicities, religions and sects — celebrate in unity.
India sends a civilized message to the rest of the world as its people - from diverse ethnicities, religions and sects - celebrate in unity. — أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 26, 2017
His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chief guest at the 68th Republic Day in India, notes that the event — which displays the various cultural traditions as well as the military prowess of the South Asian powerhouse — is a celebration of unity amidst diversity.
Republic Day marks a turning point in Indian history: a political system that celebrates diversity within unified national fabric was formed— أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 26, 2017
Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is in New Delhi to attend the 68th Republic Day of India, on Thursday exults the positive values that build great nations.
“Republic Day is an example of how positive values propel nations into greatness. This is something that we in the UAE takes at heart,” he wrote in a tweet.
Republic Day is an example of how positive values propel nations into greatness. This is something that we in the UAE takes at heart. — أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 26, 2017
Mohammad Bin Zayed expresses delight and honour in sharing the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, adding that the UAE’s participation reflects the deeply rooted UAE-Indian relations, one that is based on the firm foundation of mutual respect and common interests.
Mohamed bin Zayed: I am very delighted and honored to share Republic Day celebrations with the Indian people.— أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 26, 2017
المشاركة الاماراتية تعكس عمق العلاقات التاريخية الإماراتية الهندية القائمة على أسس راسخة من الاحترام المتبادل والمصالح المشتركة<— أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 26, 2017
Mohammad Bin Zayed conveys Shaikh Khalifa and UAE's people greetings to the Indian people and government on the occasion of 68th Republic Day.
Mohamed bin Zayed conveys Sheikh Khalifa and UAE's people greetings to the Indian people and government on the occasion of Republic Day. — أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 26, 2017
India is celebrating its 68th Republic Day today with a military parade at the Rajpath, or “King’s Way”, the ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi.
The chief guest this year is His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Here’s live coverage of the Republic Day event from India's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting:
Shaikh Mohammad arrives at the Republic Day Parade as the Chief Guest
Gulf News continues its live coverage of Shaikh Mohammad's visit to India as the country celebrates Republic Day.
Excerpts from Modi’s speech:
“We regard UAE as an important partner in India’s growth story. His Highness and I discussed ways to transform our energy ties in a strategic direction through specific projects and proposals.
We have agreed to expand our useful cooperation in the field of defence to new areas including in the maritime domain.
We also feel that our growing engagement in countering violence and extremism is necessary for securing our societies.
His Highness and I believe that our closer ties are of importance, not just to both our countries, but to the entire neighbourhood.
Our energy partnership, is an important bridge in our linkages. It contributes to our energy security.
Moving forward, our cooperation stands poised for a major take off, its future marked by depth, drive & diversification of our partnership."
WATCH: India's PM Narendra Modi speaks
I also thanked His Highness for allotting land for a temple for the Indian diaspora in Abu Dhabi: PM @narendramodi— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 25, 2017
WATCH: India's PM Narendra Modi and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the signing of the MOUs
WATCH: India's PM Narendra Modi and Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the signing of the MOUs
PM concludes: Moving forward, our coop'n stands poised for a major take off, its future marked by depth, drive & diversif'n of our partn'p— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) January 25, 2017
UAE, India announce bilateral pacts
UAE and India sign 14 MoUs, including a comprehensive strategic partnership, maritime cooperation
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and Indian PM Narendra Modi lead delegation level talks at Hyderabad House.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed and Prime Minister Modi at Hyderabad House Garden.
#WATCH: PM Modi and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan interact at the Hyderabad House Garden, Delhi pic.twitter.com/oVMirPRj6m— ANI (@ANI_news) January 25, 2017
Delhi: PM Modi and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan interact at the Hyderabad House Garden pic.twitter.com/bqOPakZzEI— ANI (@ANI_news) January 25, 2017
Hyderabad House ready for the meeting
The Hyderabad House is where the UAE and India are expected to announce several bilateral agreements later today #UAE_IndiaDosti pic.twitter.com/FuX6wVxSvZ— Gulf News (@gulf_news) January 25, 2017
Mohammad Bin Zayed meets PM Modi before formal delegation level talks.
Honour for Honoured Guest – A special tete-a-tete before delegation level talks. PM @narendramodi receives H.H. Mohammed Bin Zayed at 7 LKM pic.twitter.com/1VYW8tGr99— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) January 25, 2017
Delhi: Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 7 Lok Kalyan Marg pic.twitter.com/Y4dInuXaV0— ANI (@ANI_news) January 25, 2017
Shaikh Mohamed Bin Zayed watered two Trees of Friendship at Lodhi Gardens. One was planted by late Shaikh Zayed, the other one planted by Mohammad Bin Zayed on his earlier visit.
WATCH: Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan waters two 'Trees of Friendship' at Lodhi Gardens in New Delhi
Mohammad Bin Zayed vists Raj Ghat, the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi, in New Delhi.
Delhi: Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan pays tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. pic.twitter.com/FxCR0WKN3J— ANI (@ANI_news) January 25, 2017
Mohamed bin Zayed lays a wreath at Raj Ghat, the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi, during his visit to India— أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 25, 2017
Mohammad inspects Guard of Honour
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan inspected a spectacular Guard of Honour on Wednesday at the Indian presidential palace, in the presence of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, dozens of ministers and top officials from both sides.
Mohammad Bin Zayed arrived at the forecourt of the imposing Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential residence, exactly at 10am to the sounds of a cannon salute.
Among those attending the ceremony from the UAE side were Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change; Dr Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Federal National Council Affairs; Reem Al Hashemi, Minister of State and Managing Director of the Higher Committee for Hosting the World Expo 2020; Sultan Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, and other senior officials.
From the Indian side, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan all greeted Mohammad Bin Zayed, who is the chief guest for Thursday Republic Day programme.
Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces has arrived at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi where his official welcoming ceremony is being held.
Guest of Honour for Republic Day 2017! H.H Mohammed Bin Zayed The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi receives ceremonial welcome at @RashtrapatiBhvn pic.twitter.com/wHnASJnKOT— Vikas Swarup (@MEAIndia) January 25, 2017
The high-level delegation led by Shaikh Mohammad arrived on Tuesday in New Delhi on a three-day state visit. He was received at the airport by Prime Minister Modi.
India is looking forward to further strengthening the historical ties with UAE, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his tweet.
Welcome to India, HH Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. We are honoured to host you & delighted that you will join our Republic Day celebrations. pic.twitter.com/fabv7oji1p— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 24, 2017
India & UAE share strong bonds of friendship & extensive cooperation. Looking forward to building on this & further cementing ties. @MBZNews— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 24, 2017
Shaikh Mohamed Bin Zayed tweeted on arrival in India:
Mohamed bin Zayed upon arriving to New Delhi: I am very happy to be in this great country & with warm reception by my friend @narendramodi— أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 24, 2017
Our best of wishes to Indian people as they celebrate Republic Day. May they keep on path of development & may our ties continue to prosper— أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 24, 2017
UAE considers its relationship with India a priority and views India as a linchpin of stability and security in the Asian continent— أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 24, 2017
UAE-India relations are not limited to the political and economic levels. They are complemented with deep cultural and human bonds— أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 24, 2017
Coming period to witness breakthroughs that will see our strategic partnership transform into actionable programs that benefit our peoples— أخبار محمد بن زايد (@MBZNews) January 24, 2017
Shaikh Mohammad will be the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations and a 200-member strong UAE military contingent will lead the ceremonial parade on January 26.
On Wednesday, Shaikh Mohammad will meet President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari and hold talks with Prime Minister Modi.
The two sides are likely to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on an investment fund during the visit, a senior Indian official said on Tuesday in New Delhi.