Abu Dhabi, Feb 12 (PTI) Describing Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the UAE as "very important" in bilateral ties, the Gulf country's ambassador to India Abdulnasser Alshaali on Monday hoped that it will further take the strategic relationship to new heights.
Prime Minister Modi will pay a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) beginning Tuesday during which he will hold wide-ranging talks with President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and inaugurate the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi.
It would be the prime minister's seventh visit to the UAE since 2015.
“This visit is very important. It is very significant in this (India-UAE) relationship. We are honoured and privileged to have the Prime Minister (Modi) come to the UAE to be our guest at the World Government Summit and to inaugurate the BAPS Mandir. I am sure this will further take the relationship to new heights," Alshaali said.
Describing the opening of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Mandir, the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, as "monumental", he said: "It is going to be memorable because of the prime minister himself coming to inaugurate it.
This inauguration he said stands for values of "coexistence, acceptance, and tolerance".
"And hopefully this is just one more chapter added to the bilateral relationship," Alshaali told PTI Videos.
The BAPS Hindu Mandir, located in Abu Mureikhah, near Al Rahba off the Dubai-Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Highway, has come up on around 27 acres of land in Abu Dhabi and the work for the structure has been going on since 2019.
The land for the temple was donated by the UAE government. The UAE has three other Hindu temples that are located in Dubai. The BAPS temple, spread over a large area with stone architecture, will be the largest of all in the Gulf region.
Prime Minister Modi will inaugurate the grand temple on February 14.
On the economic cooperation between the two nations, Alshaali said it has grown exponentially over the past years and will continue to grow in the future.
"I'm sure that you will be seeing further areas of cooperation over the coming years...you will see this relationship getting stronger."
Alshaali said the UAE-India relationship is not only strategic in the bilateral sense but also in all the other areas of cooperation, including multilateral meetings, gatherings and engagements.
During the meeting, Modi and Al Nahyan will discuss ways to further deepen, expand and strengthen the strategic partnership between the countries and exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Modi will also meet with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president, prime minister and defence minister of the UAE. He will also be addressing the Indian community in the UAE at an event in Zayed Sports City.
The two countries are among each other's top trading partners with a bilateral trade of about USD 85 billion in 2022-23, according to official data.
The UAE is also among the top four investors in India in terms of foreign direct investments in 2022-23.
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