The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Thursday conferred its highest civilian honour, the Zayed Medal (Order of Zayed), upon Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced on Twitter that UAE President Sheikh Khalif had conferred the award on Modi.

"We have historical and comprehensive strategic ties with India, reinforced by the pivotal role of my dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who gave these relations a big boost. In appreciation of his efforts, the UAE president grants him the Zayed Medal," he said.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the UAE leader on Twitter with "utmost humility" and said that ties between New Delhi and Abu Dhabi had grown stronger under the crown prince's "visionary leadership".

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah also tweeted about the award for the prime minister, saying it was a gesture of "recognition of PM Modi's efforts to strengthen ties between the two nations, which has helped achieve our shared strategic imperatives in the best interest of our people".

Modi had last visited the UAE in 2015, while a Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan paid a visit to India in 2017, during which he was invited to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.

Both countries had in 2015, condemned efforts ─ including those made by states ─ to use religion to justify, support and sponsor terrorism against other countries, or to use terrorism as instrument of state policy.

There are more than 2.6 million Indians in the UAE and their annual remittance is estimated to be around $14 billion.

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