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Overview of Bahrain Foreign Minister Al Zayani’s visit to India  

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Abdullatif bin Rashid AlZayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain paid an official visit to India from April 6-8, 2021. The visit of Al Zayani is expected to strengthen the ties & cooperation between the two countries.

  • During the visit, Al Zayani paid a Courtesy Visit to Vice-President of India Venkaiah Naidu.
  • In preparation for Al Zayani’s India visit, senior officials from two countries held a virtual meeting on March 31, 2021 to review cooperation in areas of oil and gas, trade and investment, defence and security, healthcare and renewable energy.

3rd India-Bahrain High Joint Commission (HJC) Meeting

The Third meeting of the India-Bahrain High Joint Commission (HJC) was held in New Delhi on 7th April, 2021.

  • Co-chairs – Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of India & Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
  • HJC was established following the signing of an MoU between 2 sides in 2014.

Key points

  • India welcomed the signing of the Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) by Bahrain.
  • India congratulated Bahrain for taking over the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) Presidency for 2021.
  • India had given 100, 000 doses of ‘Made in India’ COVID vaccine to Bahrain.
  • Both sides discussed ways and means to expand cooperation in fields such as oil and gas, infrastructure, investments, food processing, health, renewable energy, IT, data centres, cloud computing, space, tourism, education, culture, youth and sports.
  • They highlighted the importance of bilateral collaboration in the field of health and pharmaceuticals and agreed to increase cooperation in the field of Energy.
  • India invited Bahrain to Participate in the Hydrogen Roundtable scheduled to be held on 15th April, 2021.
  • Bahrain expressed interest in setting up a pharmaceutical and vaccine production unit in Bahrain with Indian collaboration.
  • Both sides agreed to expedite the implementation of the Cultural Exchange Programme (CEO), signed by them for 2019-23 for enhancing cultural ties between the countries.

Review of Progress

  • Both sides noted the progress made by Mumtalakat, the Sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain & National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) of India to promote Bahraini Investment in India.
  • They recalled the MoU between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) & Bahrain’s Electronic Network for Financial Transactions (BENEFIT) for launch of Rupay card. They agreed to expedite negotiations for early launch of Rupay Card in Bahrain.

Golden Jubilee of India, Bahrain relations 

  • India & Bahrain are set to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of their diplomatic relations.
  • For this purpose, a number of events including issuing a memorial postage stamp for occasion, display of national flags, cultural events and exhibitions have been planned.

Collaboration between NSIL & NSSA

  • Discussions for collaboration are taking place between NSIL (NewSpace India Limited), commercial wing of ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) & National Space Science Agency (NSSA) for building and launching nano-satellite, establishing ground station.
  • It will also provide assistance in capacity building to Bahrain.

India, Bahrain vow to deepen cooperation in oil and gas sector

  • India & Bahrain agreed to cooperate in key areas such as Oil and Gas sector, Health & Defence.
  • They also agreed to step up bilateral trade and investment.

4th  India-Bahrain High Joint Commission (HJC)

The 4th Meeting of HJC was agreed to be held in Bahrain, for which dates will be decided through the diplomatic channels.

Recent Related News:

i.On February 4, 2021, India & Kingdom of Bahrain held the 1st Joint Working Group Meeting 2021 in the field of Renewable Energy (RE) in a virtual format.

About Bahrain:

Prime Minister (Crown Prince) – Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa
Capital – Manama
Currency – Bahraini Dinar (BHD)