VOINews, Jakarta - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) facilitated bilateral cooperation with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to realize construction of twin nine-story buildings at Nahdlatul Ulama University (UNU) Yogyakarta, owned by Indonesia's largest Islamic organization Nahdlatul Ulama (NU).
"The government supports improving the quality of education at NU," he said while opening the National Conference of Alim Ulama and the 2023 Nahdlatul Ulama Conference at the Al Hamid Islamic Boarding School, Cipayung, East Jakarta, on Monday.
One of the forms of the government's support is realizing the aspirations of General Chairperson of the Nahdlatul Ulama (PBNU) Executive Board Yahya Cholil Staquf to build NU University in Yogyakarta.
According to the president, the university's construction had begun last year, and one of the nine-story building twin towers had been completed.
President Jokowi explained that the number of floors in the building held philosophical significance for NU and represented the nine most popular figures, who had propagated Islam in Indonesia, namely the Wali Songo.
"The number of floors is important to NU because it is related to the Wali Songo," the president remarked.
The president stated that the NU had begun using the new building although the final stages of installing interiors and furniture were still underway.
Furthermore, President Jokowi is actively involved in expanding UNU Yogyakarta's educational facilities through diplomatic strategies at the G20 Summit in India.
President Jokowi stated that the UAE is interested in building another nine-story building for the MBZ School of Future Studies.
"Two weeks ago, I spoke with His Excellency Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) at the G20 India Summit. I spoke for half an hour, and we also discussed (about) the NU university," he noted.
President MBZ told President Jokowi that bilateral cooperation, in the form of an additional nine-story building for UNU Yogyakarta, was in process.
President Jokowi noted that President MBZ will send UAE Energy Minister Suhail Mohammed Faraj Al Mazroui to Indonesia to further discuss the UNU Yogyakarta development project.
"The Indonesian government is facilitating UNU Yogyakarta to collaborate with the UAE. The establishment of the MBZ School of Future Studies is in process," he stated.
He expressed optimism that this collaboration for the twin-building construction would be emblematic of Indonesia's closeness to the Islamic world.
"I want UNU Yogyakarta to attract many NU higher education institutions to study science and technology and to compete to become professionals or entrepreneurs while still holding the NU values," he remarked. (Antaranews)