Middle East

Bahrain to strengthen bilateral relationship with India

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday held wide-ranging talks with her Bahrain counterpart Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed al Khalifa during which they discussed ways to expand cooperation in a number of fields including tourism, oil and gas, petrochemicals, security, defense and intelligence training.

In a joint statement after the meeting they said that “The wide-ranging discussions were held in a friendly and forward-looking atmosphere, with useful exchanges of views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest,”

The two sides discussed in detail various aspects of bilateral relations. Expansion of cooperation of in the fields of tourism,  education, health, housing, renewable energy, space cooperation, culture, youth and sports, women empowerment, customs, oil and gas and petrochemicals, security, defence and intelligence training and exchange of expertise.

Exemption of short stay visa for holders of diplomatic and official/special passports, were also considered in the meeting. They agreed to consider further liberalization of visa regime for each other’s nationals.

Bahrain and India agreed to explore opportunities health care industry and welcomed the signing of a MoU for cooperation in the field of healthcare, which would contribute in expanding the cooperation between the two countries.

The two sides also agreed to enhance cooperation in the field of civil aviation and the Bahraini side encouraged Indian companies to participate in the Bahrain International Air-show- prominent air-show in the Region.

They agreed to explore collaborative arrangements between National Space Science Agency of Bahrain and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in training, human resource development, use of space technologies and applications for developmental and other purposes and to benefit from the low-cost Indian experience in the operation and launch of satellites and other space areas.

During the meeting, the two sides reiterated their close bilateral ties, deep-rooted in shared history and cultural affinities, sustained and nourished through growing economic linkages, multi-faceted cooperation and close people-to-people contacts.

Shaikh Khalid recalled the historical and friendly relations between the two countries and highly appreciated the role and contribution of the Indian expatriate community in Bahrain’s progress and economic development.

Both sides agreed on the importance of regular and timely exchange of information on available investment opportunities.