On behalf of the Ismaili community in the United Kingdom Jurisdiction, leaders of the Jamat and Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) received Mr Raab at the Ismaili Centre on Friday 13 March 2020, shortly before the nationwide lockdown established in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As the formal head of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Raab is responsible for Britain’s relationships with foreign governments and non-state actors, and met with a delegation at the Ismaili Centre to discuss ongoing projects and partnerships between the Government of the United Kingdom and the various institutions of the Ismaili Imamat.
As the Foreign Secretary’s visit coincided with the lead up to the springtime festival of Navroz, members of the Ismaili Council for the UK shared the various customs and traditions related to the occasion, including the Haft-seen table display and the symbols of hope and optimism for a prosperous new year for those celebrating.
Senior leaders of the Jamat thanked the government for the ongoing collaboration on common goals both in the UK and around the world, especially citing partnerships with the government to strengthen civil society. Both parties expressed an openness to continue working together and explore further areas for collaboration.
Institutions of the Ismaili Imamat and the British government have a long history of cooperation around the world, dating back to the 19th century. In addition to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, AKDN has built longstanding partnerships with institutions in the UK, including the Department for International Development and the British Council. These partnerships are complemented by support for charitable and educational initiatives of the Ismaili Community in the UK.