External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has thanked Bahrain for taking ”special care” of the Indian diaspora in this Gulf kingdom during the coronavirus crisis. On a two-day visit to Bahrain from November 24 to 25, Jaishankar held talks on bilateral issues as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest with his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.
He also conveyed condolences on behalf of the government and people of India to the Bahraini leadership on the sad demise of Prime Minister of Bahrain Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa on November 11. ”Started Bahrain visit with a warm meeting with FM Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani. Conveyed sincere condolences on the passing away of former PM HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa,” Jaishankar tweeted late Tuesday night. ”Discussed our historical ties and cooperation in diverse sectors. Exchanged views on regional and international issues. Thanked Bahrain for taking special care of the Indian community during COVID times,” he said.
The novel coronavirus has infected over 85,800 people and claimed 339 lives in the oil-rich Gulf nation. According to the website of the Indian Embassy in Bahrain, the country has around 350,000 Indian nationals, which comprise a third of Bahrain’s total population of 1.4 million.
Jaishankar is on a six-day tour of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Seychelles beginning Tuesday. The visit is seen as important as it comes in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. From Bahrain, Jaishankar will travel to UAE where he is scheduled to meet his counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. During his UAE trip, Jaishankar will discuss ways for Indian workers to resume their jobs in UAE in the post-COVID scenario. More than 3 million Indians live and work in the UAE, the MEA had said in a statement before the commencement of the minister’s journey. In the last leg of his tour, the external affairs minister will travel to Seychelles on November 27 and 28.
In Seychelles, Jaishankar will call-on the newly elected President, Wavel Ramkalawan, to present greetings of Prime Minister Modi and will discuss with him the priorities of the new government and avenues for further strengthening of bilateral relations, the MEA said. Jaishankar will also hold bilateral consultations with the newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde, it said.
First Published: IST