Sunday Aug 25, 2019
NEW DELHI: Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Sunday conferred its top award, The King Hamad Order of the Renaissance, on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who "humbly" accepted it.
Modi, who was earlier in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a visit, reached Manama, marking it as the first tour of an Indian prime minister to the Emirati state. He met the Bahraini king, as well his counterpart, Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, separately.
"This is a recognition of India’s strong friendship with Bahrain, which goes back hundreds of years and is expanding rapidly in the 21st century," the Indian PM wrote on his Twitter account.
The move — the second by an Arab country — comes a day after the UAE had conferred its highest civilian honour to Modi.
Both awards led to uproar and outrage as a human rights crisis currently brews in occupied Kashmir with New Delhi government continuing its clampdown in the disputed territory, including media and communications blackout, and politicians in the Himalayan territory under house arrest.
Images and video released by the UAE government showed Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan personally putting the gold medal, the Order of Zayed, around Modi's neck.
A portrait of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE's first president after whom the award is named, was displayed on the wall behind them as the two posed for a photograph.
Modi was conferred the award at the Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi during his first visit to the UAE capital after winning recent elections in India.