The road to cooperation
Both Indonesia and the UAE have streets named after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Indonesia President Joko Widodo, respectively
In October last year, the UAE changed the name of a main street in Abu Dhabi to 'President Joko Widodo Street' to honour the Indonesian President for "strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries.”
Reciprocating the honour in April this year, Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia, ordered the renaming of a strategic road in Indonesia after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
“The naming of President Joko Widodo Street reflects the strength of the Indonesia-UAE relationship. It is also the UAE government's way of honouring President Jokowi for strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries," said Nur Ibrahim, art and cultural relations attaché at the Indonesian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, in a statement.
The street in Abu Dhabi was ceremonially renamed and in attendance were the Indonesian Ambassador to the UAE, Husin Bugis, and officials from the UAE foreign ministry and the city of Abu Dhabi. At the naming road naming ceremony, Husin hoped that the renaming would strengthen the bilateral relationship between Indonesia and the UAE. President Joko Widodo Street, previously named Al Ma'arid (Exhibition) Street, is located near the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC) and the foreign embassy district.
The president, also known as Jokowi, expressed joy at receiving this honour. Taking to his social media accounts, Jokowi wrote, "It is a recognition and an honour, not only for me but for Indonesia. I hope the relationship between the two countries can become even stronger and benefit the citizens of the UAE and Indonesia. Thank you," he concluded.
According to WAM, the Crown Prince has also directed officials to build a mosque named after Widodo, in Abu Dhabi’s Diplomatic Area, in recognition of the Indonesian president’s close friendship with the UAE and his efforts to strengthen the relationship.
Indonesia-UAE relations have grown closer since Widodo’s visit to Abu Dhabi in January, during which he secured investment projects worth $22.9 billion in what has officially been described as the biggest trade deal in the country’s history. The visit was to reciprocate the crown prince’s trip to Indonesia in July 2019.
Recent cooperation agreements between the two countries have included plans for the construction of a mosque on a plot of land in Widodo’s hometown of Solo in Central Java.
The mosque will be a replica of Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and serve as an Islamic centre offering training for clerics. A groundbreaking ceremony is slated to take place in December.
In appreciation of the strengthened trade and bilateral relations between the two countries, Jokowi inaugurated the 'Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Elevated Toll Road'. The renaming ceremony of the major road in Indonesia was attended by Dr Pratikno, Minister for State Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia, and Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Public Works and Housing of Indonesia, along with representatives of the local governments in Jakarta and West Java. The 37-km road is one of Indonesia’s key strategic roads and was inaugurated by President Widodo on December 12, 2019. It is also the longest elevated road in the country and the fastest double highway in Southeast Asia.
In his speech, Dr Pratikno said, "In response to the directives of President Widodo, we are announcing the renaming of the 'Jakarta-Cikampek 2 Elevated Toll Road' to the ‘Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Elevated Toll Road’ as of today.''
The Indonesian government decided to name this vital and strategic road after Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed in recognition of the distinguished bilateral ties between the two friendly countries, he added.
"Relations between the UAE and Indonesia have witnessed significant political, economic, cultural and social development since their establishment in 1976," he further added, noting that the UAE has become a leading investor in Indonesia after its recent announcement that it would invest $10 billion in the Indonesian Sovereign Fund.
Al Dhaheri affirmed that renaming this strategic road after Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed highlights the profound ties between the two countries and the friendly relations between their leadership, adding that it also honours the key role of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed in boosting their bilateral ties and establishing a strategic partnership, most notably after his official visit to Indonesia in July, 2019.
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