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Gujarat: New Zealand’s Dy PM Peters offers prayers at Akshardham Temple

Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Winston Peters (right) visits Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat

Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Winston Peters, who is on an official visit to India, offered prayers at the Akshardham Temple here on Monday.

At the temple, Peters was welcomed by the revered Vishwavihari Swami (Kothari Swamiji) with traditional garlands and received a warm reception.

During his tour, Peters visited the model room of Akshardham Temple, gaining insight into the practices and principles of the entire community. He was also provided information about the temple and its various activities.

Peters also explored the Neelkanth Varni Abhishek Mandap and participated in the worship rituals at Akshardham Temple, expressing admiration for the spiritual ambiance.

Immersing himself in the experience, Peters conducted prayers and took a comprehensive tour of the entire premises, including the gardens.

Peters arrived in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad on Sunday night on an official visit.

Winston Peters is on an official visit to India from March 10 to 13 at the invitation of External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a press release earlier.

Deputy Prime Minister Peters will be visiting Ahmedabad and New Delhi on his first visit to India after the new government in New Zealand assumed office in November 2023. He had earlier visited India as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in February 2020, the release added.

In Ahmedabad, Deputy Prime Minister Peters is expected to meet the political leadership of Gujarat.

In New Delhi, EAM and Deputy Prime Minister Peters are scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting on March 12, 2024, during which the entire gamut of our bilateral relationship with New Zealand is expected to be discussed.

Deputy Prime Minister Peters is also scheduled to have meetings with other dignitaries during his official visit to India, the release also said.

India and New Zealand share warm and friendly relations based on the commonalities of democratic traditions and shared values bolstered by strong people-to-people ties.

The two countries are engaging in cooperation across a wide range of areas, including trade and economy, defence and security, education and research, and environment and climate change, the MEA release added.

Bilateral relations were established in 1952 between India and New Zealand. New Zealand has identified India as a priority country in its “Opening Doors to India” policy notified in October 2011, which was reiterated by New Zealand in 2015.