Bahrain-India High Joint Committee holds meeting
New Delhi, Apr.7 (BNA): The third ministerial meeting of the High Joint Commission (HJC) between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the friendly Republic of India was held today in New Delhi. The meeting was co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, and the Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India, Dr. S. Jaishankar. Dr. S. Jaishankar delivered a speech in which he expressed his delight at attending the third meeting of the High Joint Commission hailing its role in studying areas of bilateral cooperation between the two friendly countries and ways to expand joint action to increase opportunities for developing cooperation in the economic, commercial and investment fields. He also recalled his last visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain in November 2020, and its results, stressing India’s interest in strengthening the friendship and cooperation relations with Bahrain. Dr. Al-Zayani expressed in his speech sincere thanks for holding the third HJC meeting, despite the repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic. He praised the close and deep-rooted relations between the two countries people, noting the common desire to consolidate these bilateral relations and further developing them in the coming years. He lauded the successful visit of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to India in February 2014, and the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to Bahrain in August 2019, as both visits represent real milestones in the Bahraini Indian relations. He said that Bahrain highly appreciates the contributions of the Indian community to the development process in the Kingdom, and its role in promoting bilateral relations. He hailed efforts and cooperation of the two countries to confront the Covid-19 pandemic. He also stressed that the leadership of the Kingdom has always been keen to promote the historical relations with the Republic of India and its friendly people, and to expand and develop these distinguished friendly relations, so that the two sides benefit from closer cooperation and exchange of experiences. The HJC meeting discussed a number of topics on the agenda, including reviewing bilateral relations, political relations, high-level visits, bilateral institutional mechanisms, commercial and economic relations and trends in bilateral trade and investment, and following up on agreements and memoranda of understanding. The two sides discussed joint strategy and cooperation in the post-Covid-19 phase, vaccines and pharmaceuticals, cooperation in the fields of security and defense, consular/labor issues and the integration of employment portals, in addition to culture, tourism, education, youth and sports. They also exchanged views on regional, international and multilateral issues and issues of common concern. A HJC meeting issued a statement, in which the two sides expressed satisfaction with the course of close friendship and periodic high-level consultations between the two friendly countries, which led to the further promoting and diversifying their bilateral cooperation. The Indian side expressed its thanks to the leadership and government of the Kingdom of Bahrain for the safety, security and well-being of the Indian community in the Kingdom, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, and for providing free vaccination for everyone, including members of the Indian community. The two sides also agreed to continue their cooperation in combating the Coronavirus pandemic. The two sides valued the role of the Indian community in Bahrain as an important link between the two countries and its vital contribution to the development process in Bahrain. While the Indian side commended the Kingdom's open and tolerant policies and its welcoming community, which made it a preferred destination for Indian professionals and workers. Moreover, the two sides expressed their appreciation for the need for closer economic and trade cooperation between the two countries once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides. They also discussed ways to expand cooperation in a range of fields, including oil and gas, infrastructure, investments, renewable energy, information technology and other scientific fields. In addition, the two sides stressed the importance of the business and industry sector in pushing forward economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries, expressing their aspiration to hold a meeting between the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The two sides agreed to deepen participation in capacity building and focused cooperation between relevant government agencies and the private sector in the two countries in the fields of solar energy, wind energy, as well as clean hydrogen. Finally, the two sides discussed major global developments and regional and multilateral issues of common interest, and stressed the importance of securing peace and stability in Asia and the Middle East.