NEW DELHI: India has nixed the UAE’s proposal to send a military paratrooper team for live display during Republic Day Parade, citing security concerns.
The Ministry of Defence has, instead, insisted on sending a marching contingent for the parade, which will be attended by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the chief guest.
“After France sent a contingent of French Army soldiers last year, we have decided to make it a practice. So, we invited a contingent from the UAE, but they wanted to send military paratroopers.
“The Ministry of Defence was not ready for this due to security concerns as the Rajpath literally turns into a high-security zone with the President, the Prime Minister and many VVIPs attending the event. The weather may also not be conducive during that period,” said a government official.
It would be the second time when any foreign contingent will be participating in the parade on January 26. Last year, French President Francois Hollande was the chief guest of the Republic Day Parade.
Following Modi’s visit to the UAE last year, which saw several steps taken to enhance bilateral ties, inviting the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi is also seen a important move to strengthen ties with the Gulf country.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE armed forces.