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Narendra Modi in UAE: PM visits Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque, meets Indian workers

With terror and investments high on his agenda for talks with the UAE leadership, Narendra Modi on Sunday began his two-day trip to this strategic Gulf nation with a visit to the historic Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque, the world's third largest.


Narendra Modi in UAE: PM visits Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque, meets Indian workers
PM Modi received by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at Abu Dhabi airport.

Abu Dhabi: With terror and investments high on his agenda for talks with the United Arab Emirates leadership, Narendra Modi on Sunday evening landed at Abu Dhabi Presidential Airport as the first Indian PM visiting UAE in over three decades.

He began his two-day trip to this strategic Gulf nation with a visit to the historic Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque, the third largest in the world after the ones in Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

During his UAE visit, PM Modi is expected to seek enhanced cooperation on key issues like trade and counter-terrorism. He will also promote India as an attractive investment destination.

Upon his arrival at Abu Dhabi airport, PM Narendra Modi was received by Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

There was a ceremonial greeting for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was accompanied out of the airport by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, PM Modi took to micro-blogging website twitter to announce his arrival in Abu Dhabi. In another tweet, he appreciated the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for offering a red-carpet welcome to him. PM's tweets were published both in English and Arabic language.  

PM Modi then met with the UAE dignitaries and exchanged pleasantries with them.

Modi, who has come under fire for BJP’s affiliation to hard-line Hindu groups, visited Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque here today. 

He listened attentively as he was given a description about the mosque`s history and architecture.

Some of the Indian staff members accompanying Prime Minister Modi into the mosque were, Padma Shree winner Yusuf Ali, Zafar sareshwala and Shamsheer Vayalil.

The UAE Emirates Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Sheikh Nahyan al Mubarak and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash were also seen accompanying the Prime Minister.

He further signed the visitors book, marking his presence as a visitor at the mosque and also took a selfie with the Arab leaders.

As he stepped out, he was greeted by a throbbing crowd of Indians waiting to see the Prime Minsiter, chanting `Modi Modi` loudly.  

Although he could not interact with the crowds he waved to them before finally entering his car and leaving the mosque.  

A key centre of Islamic culture, the mosque is known for its architectural masterpiece of Islamic architecture design. Constructed from 1996 to 2007, the mosque can accommodate around 40,000 people.

Later, PM Modi visited ICAD Residential City top, which is a labour camp housing workers from  India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. 

At the end of day 1 in UAE, HH Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, MD of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, hosted a high level dinner for PM Modi. Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor dished up a special vegetarian spread for the Prime Minister at the dinner.

The trip includes talks with the leadership of world's second largest Arab economy and an address to the Indian diaspora, which forms 30 percent of the UAE's population.

Furthermore, the issue of ISIS threat is likely to be part of talks between the PM and UAE leadership which considers the terror group as a major threat.

Apart from discussions with the Crown Prince, who is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Modi will also hold talks with Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tomorrow.

Given that late Indira Gandhi was the last Indian Prime Minister to have visited UAE in 1981, Modi's trip is being seen as an opportunity to boost India-UAE ties in key areas of trade and security.

 

From Zee News

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