New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday felicitated with Order of Zayed, UAE’s highest civilian award by Crown Prince, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This comes despite Pakistan’s anti-India rhetoric following India’s decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

The award, which is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, acquires special significance as it is being awarded to PM Modi in the birth centenary year of Sheikh Zayed.

Uninfluenced by Pakistan’s attacks against India on multiple platforms, the UAE became the first country from among the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states to support India over its decision.

Just a day after India scrapped the Article, Abu Dhabi termed New Delhi’s action its internal matter, saying it aimed at “reducing regional disparity and improving efficiency”.

Notably, PM Modi is on the second leg of his three-nation visit — France, UAE and Bahrain. He reached UAE on Friday.

During his stay in the country, PM Modi held talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest to deepen relations between the two countries.

This is the first engagement between the two leaders after India took the historic decision to reorganise the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

(With inputs from agencies)