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Modi recounts his first UAE visit as PM in 2015: ‘Can never forget the warmth’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during an event in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, recalled how the then crown prince, who is now the president, welcomed him at the airport during his first visit to the country since taking office.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being welcomed by members of the Indian community upon his arrival at a hotel, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.(PTI)

“I was welcomed at the airport by the then Crown Prince, who is now the president, along with his five brothers. That warmth, the shine in their eyes – I can never forget that,” PM Modi said while addressing the Indian community in the UAE at the ‘Ahlan Modi’ event in Abu Dhabi.

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‘Ahlan Modi’ translates to ‘Hello Modi’, from Arabic to English.

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PM Modi visited the UAE in 2015, marking the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the Gulf country in three decades. “That welcome was not for me alone but for the 140 crore Indians,” he added, mentioning that the world of diplomacy was new to him at that time.

PM Modi is on a two-day visit to UAE. He will inaugurate the BAPS temple in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

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Long live Bharat-UAE friendship: PM Modi

After greeting the thousands-strong audience with a ‘Namaskar’ amid chants of ‘Modi, Modi’ at the Zayed Sports City Stadium here, Modi said he was overwhelmed by the affection at the community programme.

“You have scripted history by coming in such large numbers here. You may have come from different parts of UAE and from different states of India, but everyone’s hearts are connected,” Modi said.

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“This is the time to hail friendship between India and the UAE. In this historic stadium, every heartbeat echoes the same sentiment- Long live Bharat-UAE friendship,” Modi said at the event that began with national anthems of the two country.

“Today’s memory will be with me forever because I have come here to meet members of my family,” he said.

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