iconimg Thursday, September 03, 2015

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times
New Delhi , February 19, 2014
Bahrain wants to see India as a stabilizing force in the region as the king of the Gulf nation arrived in New Delhi for a state visit after a gap of three decades. A host of pacts ranging from oil and gas to education to investments are expected to be signed after the meeting between king Hamad bin Isa Ali Khalifa and prime minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday.

With a multi-faced ties with India, Bahrain wants India to play the role of a stabilsing factor in the Gulf country said Bahrain royal court minister Ahmed bin Ateytallah Al Khalifa told HT.

“India-Bahrain ties go back a long away. I want to describe Indians as the builders of modern Bahrain”, the minister said. There are little over 350,000 Indians in Bahrain, who make up the largest expatriate population in that country. They, in other words constitute 30 per cent of Bahrain population.

He said at a time of great changes happening in the region, India has an important role to play. “When I say role it is not from a security point of view. It has the elements of people, economic ties and cultural affinity”. The king is on a three-day to India.

India and Bahrain on Wednesday decided to expand their cooperation in key areas, including trade and business, as prime minister Manmohan Singh and visiting King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Gulf nation held extensive discussions on a wide range of issues.

They reviewed the bilateral trade and agreed to boost economic cooperation in diverse sectors. Bahrain has been seeking investments from Indian firms in various sectors.

After talks between Singh and Khalifa, both sides inked three pacts to strengthen ties in the fields of economic engagement, sports and to ensure cooperation between Foreign Service Institute of external affairs ministry and the diplomatic institute of ministry of foreign affairs of Bahrain.