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Bilateral Issues
a. Egypt
1. Press conference on the occasion of Gandhi’s birthday, the launch of competition on designing a poster capturing, the spirit of Gandhi in Tahrir Square, Cairo, 1 October 2012
To mark the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on 2 October, which was announced as the International Day of Non-violence by the UN General Assembly in 2007, H.E. the Indian Ambassador in Cairo, Navdeep Suri is organizing a press conference at Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC) at 1600 hours on 2 October 2012. Ambassador Suri will talk about the relevance of Gandhi’s philosophy and ideas in today’s world.
On the sidelines of the occasion, a competition on designing a poster under the title “Did you sense the spirit of Gandhi in Tahrir Square?” will be launched. The winning entries will get First prize: L.E 3000, Second prize: L.E 2000 and Third prize: L.E 1000. Notable entries will be made into an exhibition to be inaugurated on 25 January 2013. The deadline for receiving entries is 15 December 2012.
Entries can to be submitted either by email at: or by hand to:  Embassy of India, Information Wing, 37 Talaat Harb St., Downtown. For further inquiries and more details, please contact us at phone No. 23925243 or visit the Embassy’s website:
Source: Embassy of India, Cairo

2. “Did you sense the spirit of Gandhi in Tahrir Square?” Cairo, 2 October 2012
To mark the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and the International Day of Non-violence Ambassador Navdeep Suri and renowned Egyptian artist Mohamed Abla jointly garlanded Mahatma’s bust at a ceremony held at the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture in Cairo.

“Did you sense the spirit of Gandhi in Tahrir Square?” – A poster competition for Egyptians and Indians was launched during the function which was attended by a number of prominent artists and journalists. The poster design competition hopes to capture the essence of Gandhi’s message in the iconic Tahrir Square which witnessed a largely peaceful revolution on 25 January 2011.

Ambassador Suri applauded the courage of the young revolutionaries who heralded the 25 January revolution in Egypt. Their chants of Silmayyiya (Peacefully), he said, embodied the very spirit of Mahatma’s message of nonviolence and continued to reverberate through Tahrir Square. He drew attention to the famous Tahrir Square placards quoting Gandhi ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’  The poster contest, he said, was India’s way of saluting the Gandhian spirit of the Tahrir Square revolutionaries.

Mohamed Abla recalled his visits to India and the impressions that he had derived over the years about Mahatma Gandhi’s message. He said that the appeal of Gandhi’s message was universal and was reflected in the words of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela and most recently in US President Obama’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

The poster contest will be promoted among the public in Egypt, in India and in other countries. A respected jury will select the best entries and these will be shown at a special exhibition that will be held in Cairo on the 25January 2013 to mark the second anniversary of the revolution. Additional details of the contest will be available at and at
Source: Embassy of India, Cairo

3. India-Egypt Bilateral Trade increases by 33 per cent, Cairo, 14 October 2012
India-Egypt trade has witnessed a healthy increase of 33 per cent, as per the official trade data released recently by Egyptian Government for the financial year ending June 2012.   The trade performance is particularly significant in the context of the prevailing economic downturn.

Highlights of the bilateral trade data are:
Indian exports during the last one year increased by 29.3per cent, rising from US$ 1.5 billion to US$ 1.94 billion.   Major items of India’s exports include frozen meat, milled rice, cotton and synthetic yarn, light oils, motorcycles, telephone sets, sesame seeds, cathodes, carbon electrodes, pneumatic rubber tires, etc.
Indian imports during the same period have grown 36.41 per cent rising from US$ 1.7 billion to US$ 2.3 billion.  However, crude oil and LNG account for almost US$ 1.97 billion.  Other major items in Indian import basket include phosphates, cotton and ammonia.
Total bilateral trade increased from US$ 3.2 billion to US$ 4.2 billion.
India is now Egypt’s seventh largest trading partner; the steep increase in Indian imports has made India the second largest destination of Egypt’s exports after Italy, while India comes at 11th position in terms of Egyptian imports.
Source: Embassy of India, Cairo

4. Ambassador of India to Egypt meets the Egyptian Minister of Investment to discuss boosting Indian investments in Egypt, Cairo, 16 October 2012
Ambassador Navdeep Suri met with H. E. Mr. Osama Saleh, Minister of Investment at his office on 16 October 2012.  At the meeting, the two sides discussed various ways to enhance economic engagements between India and Egypt with particular focus on Indian investments in Egypt. Ambassador Suri thanked Minister Saleh for the excellent support his Ministry provides to Indian companies who are operating in Egypt.

There are about 50 Indian companies operating in Egypt, of which approximately 25 companies are joint ventures and wholly owned Indian subsidiaries. The total investment by the Indian companies is over US$ 2.5 billion dollars. Indian companies in Egypt are engaged in various fields including textiles and garments, power, chemicals, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, information technology, paints, consumer goods, healthcare, PVC, caustic soda, PET Resin, plastics, paper, packaging, auto and auto-components, education and hospitality sector. Indian companies are also executing projects in various fields such as railway signalling, pollution control including air pollution equipment, water treatment, irrigation, anti-collision devices etc.

While some foreign companies closed down their operations following the revolution, not a single Indian company left Egypt and in fact, seven Indian companies have either made fresh investment or expanded their presence in Egypt after the revolution. Indian business continue to demonstrate interest to come to Egypt in view of the strategic location of the country, the facilities offered by the government, access to other markets, and the availability of highly-skilled labour etc. Major Indian companies including TATA Motors, Jesons Adhesives, Kirloskar Brothers are presently exploring the possibility of investing in Egypt.

Indian companies are providing direct and indirect employment to approximately 35,000 Egyptians. The direct employment generated by Indian companies is more than 21,200 and indirect employment more than 13,500. The top five Indian companies most of them in labour intensive textile industry alone providing direct employment to more than 12,800 Egyptians.
Source: Embassy of India, Cairo

5. Indian Soldiers honoured at El Alamein, Cairo, 20 October 2012
To commemorate the sacrifices and heroism of the Indian soldiers in the two battles of El Alamein, a memorial service was organized by the Embassy of India, Cairo at the Indian Memorial on 20 October 2012.  Mr. Navdeep Suri, the Ambassador of India to Arab Republic of Egypt and a number of senior diplomats and Defence Officials of friendly countries placed wreaths at the memorial. The simple but solemn ceremony was a part of the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein being celebrated at El Alamein and memorialized the selfless service of the courageous Indian soldiers, thousands of kilometres away from their motherland.

The stellar role of the Indian soldiers in El Alamein, Ambassador Suri said, was recognized by German Field Marshal Rommel himself. Suri drew attention to the book ‘North African Campaign 1940-1943’ by JKW Bingham and Warner Haupt which says that the capture of Ruweisat Ridge in a combined attack of five Indian Division and New Zealand Division on 15 July 1942 was the turning point in the battle.

Almost 25,000 officers and men of the Indian army participated in the North African campaign, and over 3000 laid down their lives in the forbidding sands of the northern Sahara. The famous Battle for El Alamein alone accounted for 800 of these. Suri pointed out that a majority of those martyred here were still in their teens. They included Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims from different parts of the Indian subcontinent and the annual memorial service was meant to ensure that their sacrifices were not forgotten.
Source:  Embassy of India, Cairo

6. Ambassador of India attended the celebration of World Polio Eradication Day, Cairo, 23 October 2012
H. E. Ambassador of India in Cairo, Mr. Navdeep Suri, attended the world Polio Eradication Day Celebration organized by Rotary Club, Cairo, at El Salam Hotel, Heliopolis, on 22 October 2012.

It is worth mentioning that India launched a massive campaign in which 2.4 million volunteers, including more than 172 million children were vaccinated in almost one million booths set up across the country. The last immunization drive covered 99.99 per cent of the country.

Accordingly, WHO on 4 February 2012 removed India from the list of countries with active endemic wild polio virus transmission.
Source: Embassy of India, Cairo

7. A lecture titled “Elections and Democracy : The Indian and Egyptian Model” at the Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture, Cairo on Wednesday,7 November, 2012 at 6pm, Cairo, 31 October 2012
The Maulana Azad Centre for Indian Culture (MACIC), is organizing a lecture titled “Elections and Democracy: The Indian and Egyptian Model” by Counsellor Hatem Bagato, Deputy Chief of the Supreme Constitutional Court on November,7 November 2012 at 1800 hours, at the Centre’s premises at 23, Talaat Harb Street, Downtown, Cairo.

Counsellor Bagato holds a degree in Law and is presently holding the prestigious judicial position, namely, the Deputy Chief of the Supreme Constitutional Court. He has recently visited India to study the election management practices and techniques.
H.E. Ambassador of India, Navdeep Suri will also speak on the occasion. All are cordially invited.

For further details, please contact the Centre at Tel: 23933396/23960071; Fax: 23936572; e-mail:
Source: Embassy of India, Cairo

b. Kuwait
8. Indian Cultural Programme, Kuwait, 1 October 2012
National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters (NCCAL), Government of State of Kuwait in cooperation with the Embassy of India is organizing an evening of Indian Music & Classical Dance on 3 - 4 October 2012 at 1930 hours at Abdul Aziz Hussain Auditorium in Mishref area (Block 4, next to Mishref main cooperative). Maestro Salil Bhatt on Satvik Veena along with accompanying artists will be presenting Indian Music on both the days and Parwati Dutta and her troupe will be performing Kathak (on 3 October 2012) & Odissi (on 4 October 2012) Dance.

In view of limited seating capacity of the auditorium, a few seats are available for the general public on first come first serve basis.
Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait

9. Indian Classical Music/Dance Concert to mark First Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit, Kuwait, 4 October 2012
The Indian cultural extravaganza to mark the First Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit concluded with its second performance on 4 October 2012. Maestro Salil Bhatt on satvik veena along with his prodigal son on synthesizer and Himanshu Mahant on Tabla (Indian drums) drew huge rounds of applause from the audience for their rendition of “Alaap” and Raga “VISHWAKAUNS” a tribute to Salil Bhatt’s guru and father Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Himanshu Mahant on Tabla provided able support and enhanced the musical output with his sheer brilliance.

Parwati Dutta and her troupe presented masterpieces from the Classical Indian dance form “Odissi”. They paid a tribute to the Sun and its radiance visualized as a thousand golden locks of hair and its journey of day and night while riding a chariot of seven horses. This was followed by “Shilpaakriti” which showcases various sculptures like poses and fluid lyrical dance movements along with rhythmic and melodic patterns. “Vasant Yoddhaa” the next rendition signifying the arrival of the spring season marked by blossoming of flower-buds which brings new hope and joy in our lives was a real treat to watch. Parwati Dutta concluded with “Bharti” - a tribute to the motherland which is a composition of renowned Hindi poet Nirala.

A large number of Kuwaiti dignitaries, distinguished Ambassadors, members of the Indian community in Kuwait as well as art lovers of Kuwait attended the concert. The spell bound audience spontaneously applauded the performance of the artists time and again.
Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait

10. Visiting Indian Minister meets H.H. Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Kuwait, 15 October 2012
Hon'ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Human Resource Development of India, H. E. Mr. E. Ahmed called on His Highness Sheikh Meshal Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Deputy Chairman of the National Guards of Kuwait on 15 October 2012. During the meeting, they discussed the historical and close relationship between India and Kuwait and other matters of mutual interest, including the role and contribution of the Indian community in Kuwait. His Highness Sheikh Meshal appreciated the contribution of the Indian community and assured that any issue pertaining to the Indian community in Kuwait will receive fullest attention.
Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait

11. Speech by Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs & Human Resource Development Mr. E Ahmed at the Reception hosted in his honour by the Ambassador of India on 15 October 2012 at 1930 hrs at India House, Kuwait, 15 October 2012
Ambassador of India and Mrs Preeti Mehta
Distinguished Guests,
Good evening,

I am delighted to be in your midst this evening. I am in Kuwait to represent the Prime Minister of India at the First Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit. The Summit has already concluded its Senior Officials Meeting as well as the Ministerial Meeting, which I attended. From tomorrow morning, the Summit begins.

As you all know, the centre of gravity of global economy is inexorably shifting to Asia. Not surprisingly therefore this century is being called the Asian century. Closer cooperation between Asian countries would contribute immensely to our economic and social well-being as well as for providing stability to the global economy which is under considerable stress now.

We are grateful to His Highness the Amir of Kuwait for this initiative and for generously and graciously hosting the Summit. Under His Highness’ leadership, we look forward to a successful and fruitful Summit that would pave the way for expanded and multidimensional cooperation amongst Asian countries.

India and Kuwait share centuries old relations that continue to strengthen in modern times. Our people are tied with bonds of kinship and friendship with the people of Kuwait. For many Indians, Kuwait is a home away from home, while many Kuwaitis retain and cherish their links to India even today. There have been regular exchanges between the two countries in the areas of trade, commerce and culture. Both countries also have a history of high level visits like that of His Highness the Amir to India in June 2006 and subsequently that of our Vice President to Kuwait in April 2009 and of our External Affairs Minister in 2010 and 2011. These close bonds of friendship have resulted in close political understanding and deeper economic and cultural ties.

Kuwait’s progress since its independence has been spectacular. Today it is a modern and developed state with an enviable social security system. Kuwait is also a vibrant and open society with democratic traditions. We rejoice in Kuwait’s progress.

India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and has recorded high growth rates in the last two decades. We are also the world’s third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity and one of the most favourite destinations for foreign investments. Notwithstanding the difficult economic situation around the world, India is still maintaining a healthy growth rate, though not as much as we had expected or would like. To give impetus to the economy, our Government has recently taken a series of measures to increase revenue and attract more foreign investment. The results have been encouraging and the markets have responded positively as has the investor community.

India values its relationship with Kuwait, which is an important source of our energy and provides around 10 per cent of our annual crude oil requirement. We are amongst the top buyers of Kuwaiti oil and have consistently been amongst Kuwait’s top trade partners. Kuwaiti investments in India have picked up now, more are expected.

The over 640,000- strong community in Kuwait, which has a reputation for being capable, industrious, sincere, disciplined and law abiding, plays a pivotal role in promoting bilateral relations. Our community is also the largest expatriate community in Kuwait and has made significant contribution to the development and prosperity of Kuwait. India deeply appreciates the faith and trust reposed in them by Kuwait.

While Kuwait has been very hospitable to the Indian community, some problems arise once in a while be it treatment of Indian Labour or occasionally security of the peace-loving Indian community. During my meetings with senior Kuwait dignitaries, I have discussed these issues. They praised the Indian community and assured me that the Indian community’s issues will always receive their fullest attention.

India’s rapid economic growth is creating new opportunities for India-Kuwait partnership in investments, joint ventures and third country projects leveraging our respective strengths for mutual benefits. Time has come to take our bilateral relationship to the next level. This can only be accomplished with the cooperation and active participation of all – the two governments, the business communities of the two countries and the Indian community in Kuwait.

Finally, I take this opportunity to wish you all good health, happiness, prosperity and success.
Thank you and Jai Hind!
Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait

12. Reception held in honour of visiting Indian Minister of State for External Affairs & Human Resource Development, Kuwait, 16 October 2012
The Ambassador of India, His Excellency Mr.  Satish C. Mehta hosted a reception at India House on 15 October 2012 in honour of Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Human Resource Development of India, Mr. E. Ahmed who is in Kuwait to represent India at the Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit (ACD). During his address the Minister spoke about the centuries old relations between India and Kuwait and said that the two countries share very close political, economic, trade & cultural relations and people to people contact. The Minister also deeply appreciated the faith and trust reposed in the Indian community which is the largest expatriate community by the Govt. and the people of Kuwait. He praised His Highness the Emir of Kuwait for his vision and for taking the initiative & graciously hosting the Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit. A large number of prominent Kuwaiti dignitaries and Businessmen and representatives of the Indian community in Kuwait attended the reception.
Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait

13. Visiting Indian Minister meets the Principals of Indian schools in Kuwait, Kuwait, 17 October 2012
H.E. Mr. E. Ahmed, Minister of State for External Affairs and Human Resource Development, who is in Kuwait for the First Asian Cooperation Dialogue Summit, met the Principals of Indian schools in Kuwait on 15 October 2012 at 1130 hours in the Embassy of India.

The Principals utilized the opportunity to brief H.E. Mr. E. Ahmed about the functioning of their schools and discussed issues of concern to them.

Mrs. Anju Dheman, Principal, Fahaheel Al-Watanieh Indian Private School, on behalf of all CBSE schools, raised the problems faced by foreign students because of change in the format of class X certificate by CBSE. H.E. Mr. E. Ahmed immediately took up the matter with the Chairman of CBSE who assured the issues would be addressed promptly.

H.E. Mr. E. Ahmed suggested that Principals and teachers of Indian schools in Kuwait should visit India to meet with their counterparts in India to exchange ideas and share best practices and students from Indian schools in Kuwait should visit India on student exchange programmes. The Principals thanked H.E. Mr. E. Ahmed for his useful advice and assured that they would act on these.
Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait

14. Media Exhibition, Kuwait, 18 October 2012
The Embassy of India, Kuwait, at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, participated in a media exhibition organized on the sidelines of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit in Kuwait by the Ministry of Information from 14- 17 October 2012 at Hotel Courtyard Marriott. India’s stand, decorated with colourful tourism material, depicting the diversity of India and its culture, attracted much attention.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, H.E. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, Minister of Information, H.E. Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah, the Foreign Ministers of Thailand, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan and Philippines and other dignitaries visited the Indian stand.
Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait

c. Libya
15. Ambassador call on His Excellency Major General Yousif A. Elmangoush, Libyan Army Chief of Staff, Tripoli, 9 October 2012
On 9 October 2012, His Excellency Anil Trigunayat, Ambassador of India called on His Excellency Major General Yousif A. Elmangoush, Libyan Army Chief of Staff to discuss possible areas of institutionalized exchanges for enhancing bilateral defence cooperation.

During the meeting, Ambassador also requested for ensuring safety and security of Indian nationals presently working in Bani Walid.
Source: Embassy of India, Tripoli

16. Advisory: Current Situation in Bani Walid Affecting Indian Nationals, Tripoli, 9 October 2012
In view of the prevailing situation in Bani Walid, all Indian nationals have been repeatedly advised for over a week, through phone calls and emails, to move to safer places including to Tripoli.
Reference No. Trip/Cons/415/1/2012 09 October, 2012

In view of the prevailing situation in Bani Walid, all Indian nationals have been repeatedly advised for over a week, through phone calls and emails, to move to safer places including to Tripoli. However, it is once again reiterated that they should try to move out as soon as possible. The Embassy will be able to render logistical support to them in Tripoli for 2-3 days including in their departure to India as per rules through commercial airlines. However, as of now none of the Indian nationals in Bani Walid have reached Tripoli.

Meanwhile the Embassy has already requested the local government to ensure safety and security and safe transit of all Indian nationals in Bani Walid.
Please keep the Embassy informed of your decision on the following numbers:
Mr. Rajesh Agarwal
First Secretary (Political)
Landline 3409287, Mobile 091-3636553
Mr. Mohammad Rashid Khan
First Secretary (Information) – Arabic speaking
Landline 3409286, Mobile 091-8144008
Mr. Mustafa Salim
Arabic Interpreter
Landline 3409288 & 89 extension 25, Mobile 091-2146640, 092-4201771
Please share this information with all Indian nationals in and around Bani Walid.
(Rajesh Agarwal)
First Secretary (Political)
Source: Embassy of India, Tripoli

17. Business Delegation to Libya, Tripoli, 21 October 2012
A high-level delegation from India will be visiting Libya from 31 October 2012 to 1 November 2012. The visiting delegation includes businessmen in various sectors such as: infrastructure, information technology, pharmaceuticals, construction, services, and trade sectors, etc...

Visiting delegation wishes to meet their Libyan colleagues to interact with them and discuss business matters of common interest in the Rixos hotel where they will be staying. It is worth mentioning that the mutual trade between the two countries have recorded a significant increase during the last five months amounted to about one billion U.S. dollars in the right direction.
Source: Embassy of India, Tripoli

18. Indian President's Message to Libyan President, Tripoli, 23 October 2012
President, Pranab Mukherjee sends greeting message on the Libyan Liberation Day to Hon’ble President of General National Congress of Libya.

Excellency, on behalf of the Government and people of India, I take this opportunity to felicitate and convey our warmest greetings to you and the friendly people of Libya on the occasion of your Liberation Day.
Excellency, I would like to assure you of India’s continued friendship and cooperation to Libya in its quest for peace, progress and development.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
(Pranab Mukherjee)

H.E Mr. Mohamed Youssef Magarif
General National Congress
Government of Libya
Source: Embassy of India, Tripoli

19. Evacuation of Indians from Bani Walid, Tripoli, 25 October 2012
The Embassy of India expresses its deepest gratitude to all the Libyan people and Libyan government authorities for assisting in the evacuation of 115 Indians from Bani Walid during the wake of recent disturbances.
The Embassy is also pleased to state that it was able to render assistance to the nationals of some other countries in this effort.
Source: Embassy of India, Tripoli

d. Qatar
20. New working Hours of Embassy of India, Doha with effect from Sunday, 7 October 2012, Doha, 3 October 2012
With effect from Sunday, 7 October 2012, the official working hours of Embassy of India, Doha will be from 900 hours to 1730 hours from Sunday to Thursday.

The timings for collection of applications and delivery of documents after service at the Embassy’s Consular Section will be as follows: Collection: 9:00 hours to 12:15 hours Delivery: 1600 hours to 1715 hours.

The revised timings would be more convenient for the public, and further increase the efficiency of the Embassy’s consular services.
Source: Embassy of India, Doha

21. Ambassador’s audience with His Highness the Emir, Doha, 9 October 2012
Sanjiv Arora, Ambassador of India had an audience with His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at the Emiri Diwan on 8 October, 2012.

His Highness the Emir conveyed his best wishes to the Ambassador for his assignment in the State of Qatar. The Ambassador thanked His Highness the Emir and conveyed the warmest greetings of the Government and People of India.
His Highness the Emir and the Ambassador discussed the strong ties of friendship and cooperation between India and the State of Qatar. Photos taken on this occasion may be seen in ‘Picture Gallery’
Source: Embassy of India, Doha

22. Ambassador’s call on HE the Prime Minister & Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, Doha, 15 October 2012
Sanjiv Arora, Ambassador of India called on HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar on 14 October, 2012. A number of issues related to bilateral cooperation between India and the State of Qatar were discussed during the meeting. Photos taken on this occasion may be seen in ‘Picture Gallery’.
Source: Embassy of India, Doha

e. Saudi Arabia
23. “India Cultural Week” Celebration in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 3rd to 7th November 2012, Riyadh, 17 October 2012
The Embassy of India in association with Ministry of Culture & Information, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is organizing “Indian Cultural Week” from 3 - 7 November 2012 at King Fahad Cultural Centre, Riyadh.  The invitation is open to all on 'First Come First Serve' basis subject to the availability of seats.

A strong multi-coloured vibrant Indian Performing Cultural Delegation comprising around 60members of folk dance & music forms from various regions of India such as Rajasthani Folk Dance & Music led by Mr. Mohammad Langa from North-West India, Bhangra Folk Dance led by Mr. Kundan Kumar from North India, Chhau Folk Dance led by Mr. Ramesh Kumar from East India and Panchavadyam Percussion led by Mr. Kalamandalam Shreekumar from South India would be showcasing their traditional art of rhythms & melodies during these five days celebration.  In India, there is not a region, a valley or a mountain, a sea coast or a desert which does not have its characteristic folk dances and music.

Water Colour Paintings and Photos “Exhibition” on “Historical Monuments of India” will be the highlight of Indian Cultural Week celebration in KSA.  The Indian Cultural Week will be initiated through this exhibition.  Visiting this exhibition which will be opened at King Fahad Cultural Centre, Riyadh on 3 November 2012 during inaugural event and will remain open till 7 November 2012 from 1600 hours to 2100 hours will be an exquisite experience of walking through gallery of history while appreciating art work on display.

A Talk/Panel Discussion on “Cultural and Trading Linkages between India and Saudi Arabia - from Historical Perspective” will also be a part of Indian Cultural Week celebration which has been scheduled on 5 November 2012 at 1930 hours at King Fahad Cultural Centre.

Besides for Indian community in KSA Mehfil-E-Mushaira (literary poetry recitation session) has been scheduled at King Fahad Cultural Centre, Riyadh on 5 November 2012 at 2030 hours  Renowned Urdu Poets from various parts of India will be participating in the event.  To add taste to the event two chefs will arrive from India to be part of Indian Food Festival during the period which is being organized at Crown Plaza Hotel, Riyadh.
The event of “Indian Cultural Week” is being hosted by Ministry of Culture and Information, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Sequence of various events will be as follows:-
3 NOVEMBER 2012 – DAY – 1  
2000 hours at King Fahad Cultural Centre

Inauguration of Exhibition - “Water Colour Paintings and Photos on “Historical Monuments of India”
(Ribbon cutting ceremony by H.E. Dr. Abdul Aziz Khojah, Hon’ble Minister of Culture & Information, KSA (TBC) and H.E. Mr. Hamid Ali Rao, Ambassador of India.

(Exhibition will remain open from 1600-2100 hours till 7 November 2012).
Inauguration of the Indian Cultural Week

2030 hours at King Fahad Cultural Centre Auditorium
Inaugural Address by H.E. Dr. Abdul Aziz Khojah, Hon’ble Minister of Culture & Information, KSA (TBC)

Address by H.E. Mr. Hamid Ali Rao, Ambassador of India
(Performance by all visiting troupes – A specially choreographed presentation comprising all participating performing troupes from India)
1.    Rajasthani Folk Dance and Music Group;
2.    Chhau Folk Dance Group;
3.    Bhangra Folk Dance Group;
4.    Panchavadyam Percussion Music Group.
4 NOVEMBER 2012 – DAY – 2
1.    Food Festival – CROWN PLAZA HOTEL, Riyadh
Evening – 2000 hours
2.    Cultural Performance by Rajasthani Folk Dance & Music + Bhangra Folk Dance + Chhau Folk Dance + Panchavadyam Music Percussion at King Fahad Cultural Centre Auditorium.
5 NOVEMBER 2012 – DAY – 3
1930 hours
A talk/panel discussion on “Cultural & Trading linkages between India and Saudi Arabia - from historical perspectives” at King Fahad Cultural Centre.

2030 hours
Mushaira at King Fahad Cultural Centre Auditorium, Riyadh.

6 NOVEMBER 2012 – DAY – 4
2000 hours -       Cultural Performance by Chhau Folk Dance + Bhangra Folk Dance at King Fahad Cultural Centre Auditorium, Riyadh.
7 NOVEMBER 2012 – DAY – 5
2000 hours – Closing Ceremony at King Fahad Cultural Centre Auditorium, Riyadh
Address by H.E. Mr Abdul Rahman Al Hazzaa, Hon’ble Deputy Minister for International Cultural Relations (Ministry of Culture & Information, KSA)
Vote of Thanks by H.E. Mr. Hamid Ali Rao, Ambassador of India
1.    Performance by Chhau Folk Dance + Panchavadyam-Music Percussion + Bhangra Folk Dance + Rajasthani Folk Dance & Music at King Fahad Cultural Centre Auditorium, Riyadh.
1.    BHANGRA led by Kundan Kumar– is one of the most popular Folk Dances of Northern India.  This is Male Folk Dance which includes the elements of several traditional folk dances of Punjab with beautiful dresses and instruments.  Performed in several compositions on the beats of Dhol (a musical instrument) is most sought-after folk dance form for all celebratory occasions in the state of Punjab in India.

2.    RAJASTHANI FOLK DANCE & MUSIC led Taj Mohd.– most tribal groups in Rajasthan practice the age-old forms of folk dances and music which form a vital part of Rajasthan’s rich culture.  These music & dance provides entertainment in the daily life of the dessert and dry land.  The amazingly rich music has tradition and flavour, which gives unique features and quality to the different musical sounds and a certain rhythms that does not fail to fascinate listener and viewer.

3.    CHHAU FOLK DANCE led by Ramesh Kumar– the Chhau blends within it forms of both dance and martial art employing mock combat technique and is performed during regional festival of East India.

4.    PANCHAVADYAM led by Kalamandalam Sreekumar– Is an harmonious blend of five musical instruments and was evolved in South India.  Of the five instruments, four-Thimila, Madhalam, Ilathalam and Idakka-belong to percussion category while the fifth one “Kombu” is a wind instrument.
Source: Embassy of India, Riyadh

f. United Arab Emirates
24. Revision of Fees for Passport Related Services, Abu Dhabi, 1 October 2012
The Government of India, with its latest order has revised the fees chargeable for different passport-related services with effect from 1 October 2012. The fee for renewal of ordinary passport has been increased from AED 150/- to AED 285/- . The fees for Tatkaal category has been revised to AED 855/- from AED 700/-. Additional fees charged for 60-page Jumbo booklet has been increased from AED 40/- to AED 95/-. Fees charged in case of the Lost/ Stolen / Damage category has been revised from AED 505/- to AED 570/-.See attachment
Source: Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi

Multilateral Issues/ Regional Issues
g. Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD)
25. Statement By Minister of State for External Affairs, India, Mr. E. Ahamed At the  preparatory Ministerial Meeting Of First ACD Summit, Kuwait, 14 October 2012
Mr. Chairman, His Excellency Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I wish to thank the State of Kuwait, H.E. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah for the gracious hospitality accorded to me and my delegation and for the excellent arrangement for this meeting.
… India congratulates State of Kuwait for providing dynamic leadership under its chairmanship for the last two years. We also extend our full support to the Republic of Tajikistan as the new chair in their endeavour to take ACD forward…
Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait

26. Statement by Minister of State for External Affairs, India H.E. E. Ahmed at The First Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit Kuwait, (16-17 October 2012), Kuwait, 18 October 2012
His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,
Amir of State of Kuwait
Distinguished Heads of State, Heads of Government and leaders of Delegation
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am privileged to be present on this historic occasion of the First Asia Cooperation Dialogue Summit. I bring with me the greetings of my President and Prime Minister who wish the Dialogue all success. On my own behalf and on behalf of my leadership, I would like to congratulate State of Kuwait and Amir of the State of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, for providing dynamic leadership under its chairmanship and conceptualizing and successfully hosting the First ACD Summit.

… Personally, for me it’s a privilege to be back in Kuwait, a country with which India has a shared-history, close cultural affinity and intense people-to-people contacts. We have been a witness to Kuwait’s remarkable economic, social and political progress and development since its independence. But what stands out even more significantly is Kuwait’s remarkable ability to share nature’s bounty with which it has been amply blessed. It has selflessly given over billions of dollars as assistance in the last half century; few countries have displayed such generosity. Strengthening cooperation with other countries has been a leit motif of Kuwaiti foreign policy; it is therefore apt that we are all meeting in Kuwait to set the stage for elevating intra-Asian cooperation to a new level…
Source: Embassy of India, Kuwait,

h. Debate on the situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian Question
27. Statement by Ambassador Hardeep Singh Puri, Open Debate on Situation in the Middle East including the Palestinian Questions at the United Nations Security Council, New York, 15 October 2012
Thank you, Mr President.
Let me begin by thanking Under Secretary General Jeffrey Feltman for his comprehensive briefing. I would also like to thank the Permanent Representative of Israel and the Permanent Observer of Palestine for their valuable statements.

Mr. President, the Arab world has been undergoing unprecedented transformation during the last two years. Democratic aspirations of people in several countries are being addressed through national political processes. It is, however, regrettable that the Palestinian question and the related Arab-Israeli issues have largely remained unaddressed and unresolved. Also, the Palestinian application for full membership of the United Nations submitted more than a year ago has not   evinced any positive action from this Council, despite overwhelming support from the UN member-states.

The issue of Palestine is facing the real danger of getting relegated to the sidelines. The current period of stalemate in the Middle East Peace Process is perhaps one of the longest since the signing of the Oslo Accords 19 years back. The efforts of the Quartet can at best be described as feeble and have failed to break the stalemate. If this situation continues, the international community will risk destabilization in the region.

We, therefore, call for serious efforts to arrest this trend.  If there is one decision that can help revive the Peace Process, it is an end to settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories. The settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are creating a new ground reality and threaten the very premise of a two-state solution.  Settlements, road blocks and the related infrastructure of occupation have also exacerbated the humanitarian problems of the Palestinian people and adversely affect the normal functioning of Palestinian state institutions. We join others in urging Israel to stop its settlement policy without further delay.

Mr. President, the blockade of Gaza has entered its sixth year, and is causing severe hardship to the population. The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate, and essential services, economic activities and infrastructure development have been disrupted.  Israel should immediately lift the blockade and allow the resumption of normal socio-economic activities in Gaza so that the Gazans can rebuild their lives and reduce their dependence on external assistance.  

The recent measures taken by Israel, including transfer of tax revenue, increase in work permits to the Palestinian population, visits of Palestinian families to   meet Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention, etc., are positive. These measures are, however, inadequate to address the magnitude of the problems, and need to be built upon to promote mutual trust and confidence between the parties. In this connection, Mr. President, it is important to avoid violence on all sides, and ensure that legitimate security interests of all parties are met.  

We note the reconciliation process between the Palestinian factions, which is crucial. We hope that efforts towards the promotion of reconciliation will bear fruit  soon, leading to the formation a Unity Government, holding of elections, reunification  of Palestinian state institutions, and measures for reconstruction and development of  Palestinian society.  

The financial crisis that the Palestinian Authority is currently facing is eroding the significant progress made by the Palestinian Authority in building state institutions. There is an urgent need to support the Palestinian Authority to meet its budgetary shortfalls. In this regard, we welcome the commitment shown by the international community at the recently held meeting of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee on 23 September.  

On our part, Mr. President, India has continued to support the Palestinian state building efforts. President Abbas visited India in September this year. During the visit, three agreements were signed for establishment of an Information and Communication Technology Centre of Excellence in Palestine, provision of technical and vocational education training equipment and services for the Palestinian Ministry  of Labour, and construction and equipping of two secondary schools in Asera Al Shamalyeh and Abu Dis. India will also contribute US$ 10 million to Palestine’s budget for this year, as we have done in the two previous years.  

During the visit of President Abbas, India reaffirmed its firm support for a sovereign, independent, viable and united state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, living within secure and recognized borders, side by side and at peace with Israel. We strongly support all efforts towards realization of that objective, including Palestine’s enhanced status in this organization as announced by President Abbas during the General Debate of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly last month.  

Mr. President, we remain seriously concerned at the deteriorating situation in Syria. We strongly condemn all violence and violations of human rights irrespective of who their perpetrators are. We also condemn in the strongest terms the terrorist acts that have been and continue to be committed in Syria. We call upon all parties to dissociate themselves from terrorist groups and ensure that no space is provided for these groups. We urge all parties to cooperate with Joint Special Representative Mr Lakhdar Brahimi to resolve the crisis without any further bloodshed through an inclusive, Syrian-led political process that can meet the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people.

Before I conclude, Mr. President, let me state that while the Palestinian question remains at the centre of the Arab-Israeli conflict, there are other Arab lands under occupation. A final and comprehensive settlement of all Arab-Israeli issues is necessary for enduring peace in the region. India stands ready to play its part in our collective endeavours to achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.  
I thank you.
Source: Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations

Compiled by Alvite N

Alvite N is a Doctoral candidate at the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Email

As part of the policy, the MEI@ND standardizes spellings and date format to make the text uniformly accessible and stylistically consistent. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views/positions of the MEI@ND. Editor, MEI@ND: P R Kumaraswamy