Abu Dhabi, Sep 12 (IANS) Navdeep Singh Suri, the outgoing Indian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was conferred with the First Class Order of Zayed II honour in recognition of his efforts and contribution to the development and strengthening of bilateral ties between the two countries.

UAE President Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan presented the the highest civilian honour in the country to Suri during a meeting here on Monday. Sheikh Abdullah lauded the envoy's role in bolstering the UAE-Indian ties.

Speaking to the Khaleej Times on Wednesday, Suri said: "I am truly humbled that Sheikh Khalifa has conferred this rare honour on me. I have been privileged to represent India in the UAE during a period that has seen such a remarkable transformation in our bilateral ties. We are indeed fortunate that we have had this ringside view of history being made."

He also extended gratitude to government departments, officials and staff members, with whom he worked through the years.

"This award is not for me as an individual. I gratefully accept it on behalf of our wonderful team at the embassy and at our consulate in Dubai - and on behalf of the amazing Indian community that constitutes such a strong bridge between India and the UAE," the envoy added.

Suri has been heading the Indian mission in the UAE since October 2016. During his tenure, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the UAE twice.

Pavan Kapoor will succeed Suri as the next Ambassador.

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