Monday 19 August 2019 2:00 AM UTC
New Delhi Aug 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will pay a three-day visit to United Arab Emirates and Bahrain beginning August 23 and hold extensive talks with top leaders of the two countries on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.
The prime minister will first travel to United Arab Emirates where he would receive the ”Order of Zayed”, the highest civil decoration of the country, the External Affairs Ministry said on Sunday.
From UAE, PM Modi will leave for Bahrain on August 24 on a two-day visit, which will be the first ever prime ministerial visit from India to the Gulf nation, the ministry said.
In April, the UAE announced conferring the prestigious award on PM Modi for playing a “pivotal role” in giving a “big boost” to the bilateral strategic ties.
The award in the name of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, acquires special significance as it was awarded to PM Modi in the year of the birth centenary of the leader of the Gulf nation.
“During his visit, the prime minister would be meeting the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to discuss bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest,” the MEA said.
Ties between India and the UAE are on an upswing in the last few years.
With robust flow of bilateral investments and an annual bilateral trade of about USD 60 billion, the UAE is India’s third-largest trade partner.
The influential Gulf nation is also the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil to India. The UAE has a 3.3 million-strong Indian community.
“The visit would further strengthen our friendly bilateral ties with the UAE,” the MEA said.
In Bahrain, PM Modi will hold talks with his counterpart Prince Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa on entire spectrum of bilateral relations as well as on regional and international issues of mutual interest, the MEA said.
It said King of Bahrain Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa will be hosting a banquet dinner in honour of Modi.
During the visit, the Prime Minister will also launch the renovation of Shreenathji (Shree Krishna) temple in Manama.
The ties between India and Bahrain have witnessed renewed vigour in the last couple of years. India-Bahrain bilateral trade has been on the rise, reaching about USD 1.3 billion in 2018-19.
About 3,50,000 Indian nationals form the largest expatriate community in Bahrain and have been contributing to the development of Bahrain.
“The presence of over 3,000 Indian-owned/joint Ventures in Bahrain indicates the intense economic engagement between the two countries.
The visit will provide an opportunity to further cement our mutually beneficial bilateral ties with Bahrain,” the MEA said.
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