India eyes closer ties with Bahrain, UAE, and Seychelles

Amid a realignment of the geopolitical calculus in the Middle East after the recognition of Israel by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE),  External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s trip to the UAE and Bahrain will help India’s relations with key players in the region.Mr Jaishankar will visit Bahrain, UAE, and the Seychelles from November 24 to 29, during which he will meet his counterparts and also the top leadership of these countries.

On behalf of the Indian government, Mr Jaishankar will personally convey his condolences to the Bahraini leadership on the sad demise of Bahrain’s Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa on November 11. Bahrain is home to more than 350,000 Indians, and it is his first visit to the country. India and Bahrain have been working together to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. While in Bahrain, he will also hold talks on bilateral as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a release. On November 26, the minister is expected to meet his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and discuss ways to deepen their bilateral cooperation under the India-UAE comprehensive strategic partnership and exchange views on various regional and international issues. He will also discuss ways for Indian workers to resume their jobs in the UAE, post-Covid-19, where more than three million Indians live and work.

In the recent past, India and the UAE maintained close high-level contacts, from anti-pandemic collaboration to laying the groundwork for more Indian investments. In September, the foreign ministers of the two countries co-chaired the India-UAE Joint Commission Meeting. And in early November, a meeting of the High-Level Task Force on Investments (HLTFI) was co-chaired by the Indian Commerce and Industry Minister and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).Besides, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also spoken to Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss the efforts against the epidemic.

Mr Jaishankar will travel to Seychelles from November 27-28 in the last leg of his tour. He will call on the newly elected President of Seychelles Wavel Ramkalawan to present greetings of Prime Minister Modi and discuss priorities for further strengthening the India-Seychelles relationship. The Indian minister will also hold bilateral talks with his counterpart Sylvestre Radegonde.

 

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