Abu Dhabi: India's External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar who is on a three-day visit to United Arab Emirates (UAE) visited the under-construction Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi said to be the first traditional temple in the Arabian Peninsula and expressed his happiness over its "rapid progress."
On Wednesday, Jaishankar visited the site of the under-construction site of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in the UAE. "On Ganesh Chaturthi, blessed to visit the @BAPS Hindu temple under construction in Abu Dhabi. Glad to see the rapid progress and deeply appreciate the devotion of all involved. Met the BAPS team, community supporters and devotees and workers at the site", tweeted Jaishankar.
Terming it as a symbol of peace, tolerance and harmony, the EAM hailed the efforts of all Indians in building the iconic Temple.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir of Abu Dhabi in UAE is being built by the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha.
Several thousand devotees from all over the world, well-wishers and guests participated in the Shila Pujan ceremony at Abu Mureikheh in 2018, which marked the first step in the construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. Since then, the site of construction has received many visitors from all walks of faith, according to the temple authorities.
The Indian Embassy in UAE tweeted, "Auspicious beginning to the visit of EAM @DrSJaishankar. EAM visited the @BAPS@AbuDhabiMandirsite and laid a brick in its intricate architecture. Also hailed the efforts of all Indians in building the iconic Temple, a symbol of peace, tolerance and harmony".
Also defining EAM's remarks as inspirational BAPS tweeted, "Our deepest gratitude to @DrSJaishankar for his visit to the Mandir on this auspicious day. His words of inspiration to the craftsmen, volunteers and contributors underlined the role of this Mandir as a Spiritual Oasis for Global Harmony".
In 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the presence of over 1,700 Indian and Emirati dignitaries from all walks of life, unveiled a model of the traditional stone temple.
"The first traditional temple in Abu Dhabi will act as a catalyst for the flourishment of humanitarian values and harmony between the two countries. The temple will become a medium for India's identity.", PM Modi then said.
The UAE government in 2015 had decided to allot a plot of land near Abu Dhabi for the construction of the temple during PM Modi's first visit to the West Asian country.
Meanwhile, the EAM also met Sheikh Nahyan bin Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Co-existence, and appreciated his strong support for the Indian community, yoga activities, cricket and cultural cooperation.
"Delighted to meet Sheikh Nahyan bin Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Co-existence. Appreciated his strong support for the Indian community, our yoga activities, cricket and cultural cooperation", Jaishankar tweeted.
EAM will also be co-chairing the 14th India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) and the third India-UAE Strategic Dialogue with Foreign Minister of UAE, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
According to a statement by the MEA, these meetings will provide an opportunity for both the Ministers to review the entire spectrum of comprehensive strategic partnerships between India and UAE and regional and global developments. During the visit Jaishankar will also meet other UAE dignitaries.
There has been a regular exchange of high-level interaction between India and UAE in 2022. PM Narendra Modi paid a visit to Abu Dhabi on June 28 and met UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Prior to that, both leaders had also held a virtual summit on February 18 during which India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed and a vision statement adopted. Both leaders also participated in the I2U2 Summit held virtually on July 14, as per MEA.
Both India and UAE are committed to moving forward in their partnership in diverse areas, including trade, investment, conventional and renewable energy, food security, health, skill development, education, culture, defence, space, consular issues and people-to-people ties.