Dr. Shaikh Sultan and Rahul Gandhi
Dr. Shaikh Sultan and Rahul Gandhi discussed historic relations between the UAE and India as well as ways to promote bilateral relations between the two countries. Image Credit: WAM

Shatjah: India’s Congress party chief Rahul Gandhi was received by His Highness Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, at his office on Sunday, the final day of his visit to the UAE.

Nearly 37 years after his grandmother and the then prime minister Indira Gandhi visited the UAE in 1981, the Nehru-Gandhi scion had received a rousing welcome in Dubai on Thursday evening. He flew back to New Delhi on an Emirates flight at 3.10pm on Sunday after a series of engagements with the UAE’s leaders, Indian workers, professionals, and business leaders apart from his main public event where he addressed a packed Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah and Shaikh Abdullah bin Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, were also present at Gandhi’s meeting with Shaikh Sultan, WAM reported.

The meeting touched upon the historical relations between the UAE and the Republic of India, the promotion of bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as ways of bolstering cultural, social and cultural communication between the two friendly peoples.

Gandhi praised the scientific, educational and cultural renaissance in the Emirate of Sharjah and the support of Dr. Shaikh Sultan for various humanitarian and educational projects, which, he said, are reflected in the emirate’s great scientific and cultural development.

Dr. Shaikh Sultan presented his guest with a number of his literary and cultural publications. The meeting was also attended by a number of shaikhs and Indian officials, the report added.

Earlier on Friday, Gandhi was received by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

They exchanged views on the historic friendship relations between the UAE and India on the official and popular levels, and stressed the importance of preserving these distinguished relations through setting up new bridges of communication between the two countries on various levels.

On Saturday, Shaikh Nahayan Bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance, received Gandhi in Abu Dhabi, at the lunch the minister hosted for his delegation.

Gandhi also held private meetings with prominent members of the Indian community.

“I am taking back with me the spirit of our community, love and affection of the UAE and the idea that India’s diaspora needs to be utilised. I am also taking back the idea of tolerance, an Indian idea that has been attacked in our own country,” Gandhi said at a press conference on Saturday evening.