Port Moresby: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Monday conferred with the highest honours of Papua New Guinea and Fiji, in a rare recognition for a non-resident in the two Pacific island nations.
Modi was in Papua New Guinea on Sunday on his maiden visit to the country to host a key summit between India and 14 Pacific island countries to boost bilateral ties.
In a special ceremony at the Government House, Sir Bob Dadae, Governor-General of Papua New Guinea, conferred Prime Minister Modi with the Grand Companion of the Order of Logohu (GCL), the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.
This is the highest civilian award in the country and recipients of the award are titled “Chief”, it said.
“Unprecedented honour for India as Papua New Guinea confers their highest award to PM Modi,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Papua New Guinea conferred the Companion of the Order of Logohu to Prime Minister Modi for championing the cause of unity of Pacific Island countries and spearheading the cause of Global South. Very few non-residents of PNG have received this award, including former US President Bill Clinton, it said.
“Humbled by the gesture of Papua New Guinea of conferring me with the Companion of the Order of Logohu. Gratitude to Governor General Sir Bob Dadae for presenting the award. This is a great recognition of India and the accomplishments of our people,” the prime minister tweeted.
“An honour emblematic of the depth of India-Papua New Guinea relationship,” the MEA tweeted.
This comes immediately after Fiji’s Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka also conferred the country’s highest award to Modi.
“Big Honour for India. Prime Minister Modi has been conferred the highest honour of Fiji by the PM of Fiji: Companion of the Order of Fiji in recognition of his global leadership. Only a handful of Non-Fijians have received this honour to date,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.
Prime Minister Modi dedicated the honour to the people of India and to the generations of the Fiji-Indian community, who have played a key role in the special and enduring bond between the two countries, the MEA said on Twitter.
“Grateful to the people and Government of Fiji for conferring the Companion of the Order of Fiji on me. I thank PM @slrabuka for presenting the award. It is an honour for the people of India and a recognition of the strong ties between India and Fiji,” the prime minister tweeted.
Modi also held a “wonderful meeting” with President Surangel S Whipps, Jr of the Republic of Palau on the sidelines of the FIPIC Summit.
Whipps presented Modi with an Ebakl, one of the most important tools for the people of Palau.
Ebaki has a strong link with the local culture. It also symbolises leadership and wisdom, the MEA said on Twitter.
Some of the previous international awards conferred by countries on Prime Minister Modi are The Order of Abdulaziz Al Saud (the highest honour of Saudi Arabia awarded to non-muslim dignitaries), State Order of Ghazi Amir Amanullah Khan (the highest civilian honour of Afghanistan), the Grand Collar of the State of Palestine Award (the highest honour of Palestine awarded to foreign dignitaries) and Order of Zayed Award (highest civilian honour of the United Arab Emirates).
Other awards include the Order of St. Andrew Award ( the highest civilian honour of Russia), the Order of the Distinguished Rule of Nishan Izzuddin (the highest honour of the Maldives awarded to foreign dignitaries) and King Hamad Order of the Renaissance (a top honour by the gulf country).