ABU DHABI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a crowd of nearly 20,000 Indians who gathered to hear him at the Sultan Qaboos Stadium in Muscat on Sunday. He took shots at the opposition Congress party, saying India’s image had suffered due to a long list of scams in the previous regime and his government worked hard to change the “style of misgovernance”. The Prime Minister, who is in Oman on the last leg of his three-nation tour, also attended a special dinner hosted by Sultan of Oman, Sayyid Qaboos Bin Said Al Said. PM Modi reached Oman from the United Arab Emirates, where he attended the World Government Summit and addressed the Indian community at the iconic Dubai Opera.
Here are the latest developments:
- Thanking Sultan Sayyid Qaboos Bin Said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Our relationship with Gulf is improving… Oman is our closest neighbour in the Gulf region. His majesty the Sultan has had an integral relationship with India. His presence here signifies how close Oman is to India”.
- On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet a group of Omani CEOs. Two Deputy Prime Ministers of Oman, Sayyed Fahad and Sayyed Asad, will also also call on PM Modi. He will also visit the grand Sultan Qaboos Mosque and a very old Shiva temple.
- Delivering the keynote address at the World Government Summit in Dubai where India is a guest of honour, PM Modi said regimes should pledge to use technology for development not destruction.
- He also attended – through video conference – the laying of the foundation stone of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi. The grand temple – built over 55,000 sq m land off Abu Dhabi Highway – is the first Hindu stone temple to be built in the middle east.
- On Saturday, he held wide-ranging talks with Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and signed five key agreements — related to the energy sector, railways, manpower and financial services — following a historic visit to Palestine
- India also gained a foothold in Abu Dhabi’s massive oil resources, with a memorandum of understanding that gave a consortium of Indian companies 10 per cent stake in the offshore oil concession in Lower Zakum.
- PM Modi is the first foreign leader to be invited to the palace by the Crown Prince, who appreciated the role played by Indian workers in the development of the UAE as a modern nation, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.
- This was PM Modi’s second visit to the UAE – home to over three million expatriate Indians – after his visit in 2015, the first by an Indian premier in 34 years. Various buildings in Abu Dhabi were lit in the colours of the Indian flag to welcome Prime Minister Modi, who also attended a state banquet hosted by the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince.
- More than nine million Indians work and live in the Gulf region. In Oman, they constitute the largest expatriate community.
- On Saturday, PM Modi visited Palestine – the first by an Indian Prime Minister – where he underlined New Delhi’s support for a sovereign and “free” Palestine in a peaceful manner.