On October 28, 2018, External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj set out for a 4-day foreign visit to the 2 countries of Qatar and Kuwait in the Gulf region.
i. As per schedule, she visited:
- State of Qatar on 28-29 October 2018 and
- State of Kuwait on 30-31 October 2018.
ii. This was Smt. Sushma Swaraj’s first visit as External Affairs Minister to both the countries.
iii. Kuwait joined the league of nations to celebrate #Bapuat150 in 2018.
2-day Visit of External Affairs Minister to State of Qatar
On October 28, 2018, External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj reached Doha, the capital of Qatar to start her 2 day visit.
She visited the state of Qatar at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
Bilateral Meeting with Foreign Minister of Qatar:
i. She held delegation level talks with her counterpart H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.
ii. Following were discussed:
- Signed a Declaration to establish Joint Commission at the level of External Affairs and Foreign Minister to periodically review progress in various cooperation initiatives.
- Qatari investments were invited in the areas including petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture and food processing.
Meeting with other delegates:
She called on His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar to strengthen bilateral relations in trade and investment.
- In Doha, EAM addressed and interacted with over 500 representatives of the Indian community.
- A booklet titled ‘Welcome to Qatar’, prepared by the Embassy for Indians coming to Qatar for employment, was released by EAM at the event.
Bilateral trade between India and Qatar in 2017-18 was US$ 9.9 billion and Indian exports to Qatar during this period registered an increase of 87% over the previous year
♦ Capital: Doha.
♦ Currency: Qatari riyal.
2-day Visit of External Affairs Minister to Kuwait
On October 30, 2018, External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj reached Kuwait, the ‘Land of the Pearls’ to start her 2-day visit to the country.
She visited the state of Kuwait at the invitation of Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H.E. Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah.
Delegation-Level talks with Foreign Minister:
EAM held wide-ranging discussions with the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. The discussions are as follows:
- Bilateral cooperation including in areas of Trade & Investment, Defence and Labour issues,
- Kuwait accepted India’s invitation to join International Solar Alliance,
- Agreement on exemption of visa for holders of Diplomatic, Official and Special Passports,
- Agreement on recruitment of Domestic Workers.
Bilateral Talks with other delegates of Kuwait:
- EAM called on His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait.
- She also interacted with Kuwaiti Prime Minister, His Highness Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamd Al-Sabah and held discussions for enhancing and further strengthening economic and investment cooperation.
- She also addressed and interacted with the Indian Community in Kuwait at the event organized by the Embassy.
- She also paid floral tributes to the statue of Gandhiji at the Indian Embassy in Kuwait.
- During 2017-18, Kuwait was the ninth largest oil supplier to India and it meets about 4.6 per cent of India’s energy needs.
- Total bilateral trade with Kuwait during 2016-17 was USD 5.9 billion and for 2017-18 was USD 8.53 billion.
♦ Capital: Kuwait City.
♦ Currency: Kuwaiti dinar.