Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque will also be a symbol of friendship between the two largest Muslim countries in the world
Surakarta, Central Java (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan officiated the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Banjarsari Sub-district, here on Monday.

Both leaders arrived at the mosque at 7:25 a.m. local time (UTC +7) and entered the mosque for a sightseeing tour and to perform a short prayer. Jokowi and Mohammed bin Zayed then walked to the mosque's front yard to sign the mosque plaque and plant a tree together.

Jokowi spent some time to greet the residents gathered at the mosque ground. The president thereafter left the mosque along with Mohammed bin Zayed.

Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas, Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, Surakarta Mayor Gibran Rakabuming Raka, as well as UAE representatives and Muslim figures attended the mosque opening ceremony.

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According to Pranowo, the mosque inauguration ceremony was conducted modestly and took a short period of time. Indonesian cleric Abdul Karim, also known as Gus Karim, and a cleric from the United Arab Emirates read prayers during the ceremony, he noted.

"The ceremony was simple and took a short (period of) time. The president also planted a tree during the event," Pranowo said.

The governor said he was astounded by the mosque's architecture while entering the structure for the first time. He also expressed pride over Central Java hosting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

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He expressed hope that the mosque, constructed as a present from the UAE, would be the hub of religious activities and religious moderation movement, which could host constructive discussions among Muslims.

Meanwhile, Surakarta Mayor Raka said that the mosque, which could cater to up to 10 thousand people, would be the hub of dissemination of values of Islam as a blessing for the world in the city.

"Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque will also be a symbol of friendship between the two largest Muslim countries in the world," Raka remarked as observed from the Presidential Secretariat YouTube channel.

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Translator: Bambang Dwi M, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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