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PM speaks on telephone with His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Kingdom of Bahrain, New Delhi, 01 February 2022.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi spoke on telephone today with His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Kingdom of Bahrain. HRH Prince Salman conveyed greetings on the occasion of Republic Day of India.
Both leaders reviewed the bilateral relations between India and Bahrain and expressed satisfaction that the relationship has seen continued progress in diverse sectors including political, trade and investment, energy, health, security and people-to-people contacts. India and Bahrain are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of establishment of diplomatic relations between two countries in 2021-22.
Prime Minister thanked the Bahraini Leadership for taking excellent care of the Indian community in Bahrain during the Covid pandemic, as also for looking after their social and cultural needs.
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi conveyed his greetings to HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and reiterated his invitation to HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, for a visit to India at an early date. Source: Embassy of India, Manama.
Webinar and B2B Meeting on Opportunities in Renewable Energy Sector in Bahrain, Manama, 15 February.
Embassy of India, Bahrain supported by the Ministry of Electricity and Water Affairs (MEWA), Government of Bahrain and Ministry of New and Renewal Energy (MNRE), Government of India, held a Webinar and B2B Meeting titled “Opportunities in Renewable Energy Sector in Bahrain” on 15th February 2022. The Event was organized in cooperation with the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) India and in partnership with the Bahrain Indian Society (BIS).
During the opening session of the event, H.E. Mr. Piyush Srivastava, Ambassador of India to Bahrain addressed the participants in a keynote speech highlighting the importance and value adding such events and platforms offer and contribute in further promoting the trade relations between both countries. The webinar also featured address and presentations from Mr. Alexander Al Samahiji, Advisor (Energy Efficiency), MEWA, Kingdom of Bahrain, Mr. Dinesh D Jagdale, Joint Secretary, MNRE, Govt. of India, Mr. Manu Srivastava, Principal Secretary, State Government of Madhya Pradesh, India and Mr. Abdulrahman Juma, Chairman, BIS. MEWA, BIS, EEPC, Indian Solar Manufacturers Association (ISMA), Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association and Hydrogen Association of India (HAI).
The event was organized in line with the decision taken in the 1st India-Bahrain Joint Working Group Meeting (JWG) held in Feb 2021 to promote trade, economic, technological and capacity building and cooperation between the two countries. The JWG meeting took place within the framework of the MoU on cooperation in the field of Renewable Energy between the two countries signed in July 2018.
The Speakers stressed that the Renewable energy is a priority area for both governments and provides considerable synergies for cooperation between India and Bahrain, especially in light of commitments made by both countries towards net zero greenhouse gas emissions. Kingdom of Bahrain’s decision to join International Solar Alliance as member will also further enable opportunities for bilateral as well as regional and multilateral cooperation in the field of solar energy.
The presentations by representatives of the sector in India have highlighted Indian’s technological and industrial advances in this sector particularly in the solar, wind & hydrogen energy sector. India is ranked fourth in wind power, fifth in solar power and fifth in renewable power installed capacity and well on its way of achieving 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030.
Similarly, representative of MEWA highlighted the priorities attached to renewable energy sector by the Government of Bahrain in the Economic Vision 2030, Bahrain and the key policies and initiatives endorsed to promote and encourage the uptake of renewable energy as a key contributor towards a green and zero carbon economy. The presentation by MEWA also shared highlights on the current and near-future business opportunities leveraging feasible technologies and projects in the renewable energy sector in the Kingdom.
It was a fruitful and productive event and took place in a cordial environment in which both side underscored importance of renewable energy to meet climate change goals and presented initiates & targets of their respective governments and opportunities available in this sector. The B2B meeting was attended by over 80 companies from both sides. The outcomes of the webinar are expected to lead to greater trade and investment opportunities between the two countries in this important sector and both sides stressed the need to hold more such interaction between the private sector of the two countries. Source: Embassy of India, Manama.
India-Bahrain 1st Joint Working Group Meeting on Healthcare Cooperation, Manama, 22 February 2022.
India-Bahrain 1st Joint Working Group (JWG) Meeting on healthcare cooperation between Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), Govt of India (GoI) and Ministry of Health, Govt. of Bahrain (GoB) was held virtually on 22nd February 2022. Indian delegation was led by Mr. Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, MoHFW and Dr. Najat Mohamed Abulfateh, Director & Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health, Ministry of Health led the Bahraini delegation. H.E. Piyush Srivastava, Ambassador of India to Bahrain also attended the meeting.
2. The JWG meeting discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in the field of pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostics. In recent times, three bilateral B2B meeting and webinars- in Oct 2020, Dec 2021 and Feb 2022- have been organized to promote trade and investment in the field of pharmaceuticals and vaccines, including exploring possibilities of setting up JVs in Bahrain. Both sides also discussed the matter concerning harmonization of drug approval processes to further promote bilateral trade in this sector.
3. Both sides also discussed possibilities for exchange of medical professionals & experts and promotion of medical value travel between India and Bahrain. In this context, the need for mutual recognition and acceptance of each other’s medical degree was also deliberated upon.
4. Detailed presentations were made by each side on pandemic management in their countries. Both sides acknowledged the effective handling of Covid-19 in each other’s countries and shared best practices adopted by them, and agreed to continue cooperation in this critical area, both at bilateral and multilateral levels.
5. The meeting took place under the MoU on cooperation in the field of Healthcare signed between the two countries in July 2018.
6. The meeting provided a valuable opportunity to both sides exchange views on many issues of common interest in the healthcare domain. Both sides noted the need for regular interaction, agreed to form subgroups and designate focal points on the agreed areas of common interest to take the cooperation forward in an effective and time-bound manner. Both sides also agreed to convene the next meeting of the JWG at the earliest at a mutually convenient time. Source: Embassy of India, Manama.
India’s Participation in IT Fair ITEX-2022, Baghdad, 15 February 2022.
The Embassy of India, Baghdad took part in the Iraq International Exhibition for Communications and Information Technology and digital transformation (ITEX 2022) organized by the Iraq Ministry of Communications held during 15-18 February 2022 in Baghdad Fairgrounds. M/s Alfa and Pyramid Group of companies were the main executing agencies for this exhibition.
The Exhibition showcased the main trends and recent developments in the field of information and communication technology around the world, in addition to introducing the initiatives and e-governance in Iraq and future projects in IT sector. It also exhibited the newest products and solutions in information and communication technologies to help SMEs to maximise efficiency and minimise cost. The exhibits included business apps on cloud and mobile, mobile marketing, computer & peripherals, enterprise solutions and IT outsourcing, homegrown innovations, smartphones and tablets, telecom, network and wireless technologies, etc.
The Minister of Communications, H.E. Arkan Al Saibani inaugurated the Expo on 15th February 2022. The Expo attracted 700 exhibitors from 25 countries with exhibits to showcase latest electronics, cutting edge technology and ICT solutions.
The Indian Embassy participated in ITEX-2022 at the invitation of M/s Alfa by setting up a booth, where it exhibited catalogues, brochures and pamphlets of various leading IT companies from India. Video clips espousing the 3Ts (Trade, Technology and Tourism) were screened at the stall. A souvenir kit containing assorted Indian products and publicity material were distributed to the dignitaries at the inaugural event of the Expo. A brief overview of Indian IT industry and latest business trends in the Information Technology and FINTECH industry were highlighted. The Iraqi companies showed keen interest in the Indian IT market. The Embassy shared relevant details of the IT companies in specific sectors of interest with the concerned Iraqi companies for exploring business tie-ups in cyber-security, digital payments, e-marketing and e-governance. Source: Embassy of India, Baghdad.
Release of a commemorative postage stamp by Iraq Post, Baghdad, 15 February 2022.
Iraq Post released a special commemorative postage stamp in Baghdad on 15 February 2022. The ceremony was attended by H.E. Mr. Arkan Al-Shaibani, Minister of Communications of Iraq and Mr. Prashant Pise, Ambassador of India to the Republic of Iraq. The special postage stamp of the value of IQD 1000 was brought out on the special occasion to celebrate the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between India and Iraq (The Friendship Treaty signed between India and Iraq in 1952), 75 years of India's independence (Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav) and 100 years of establishing Iraqi state.
The Indian Ambassador thanked the Iraqi Minister of Communication for the kind gesture of the government of Iraq and the people of Iraq towards the government of India and to the people of India for their abiding friendship. Source: Embassy of India, Baghdad.
Unstarred Question No.562, Memorandum of Understanding Between India and Kuwait, Lok Sabha, 04 February 2022.
†562. SHRI BASANTA KUMAR PANDA:
Will the Minister of External Affairs be pleased to state:
(a) whether the Government has approved a memorandum of understanding between India and Kuwait for cooperation in the recruitment of domestic workers;
(b) if so, the details and salient features of the MoU; and
(c) the number of Indian workers including those from Odisha posted/working in Kuwait including their per capita details?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS [SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]
(a) Yes. During the visit of External Affairs Minister to Kuwait in June, 2021, a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on the Recruitment of Domestic Workers (DSWs) between India and Kuwait was signed on 10 June, 2021.
(b) The Memorandum of Understanding aims to protect the rights of both Domestic Sectors Workers (DSWs) and Employers and regulate the contractual relationship between them. Besides, MoU facilitates safe and legal recruitment which makes a good relationship between India and Kuwait. The details and salient features of the MoU are as under:-
(i) To facilitate opening of a bank account by the employer in the name of the Domestic Workers for deposit of their monthly salary as provided in the employment contract in accordance with laws and regulations applicable of the State of Kuwait according to MoU.
(ii) To ensure that the employer shall provide the worker with food, housing, clothing, and registering the Domestic Worker in the health insurance system that covers worker’s treatment in case of illness or injury due to work as well as being committed to compensate for job injuries and transporting the mortal remains of the Domestic Worker to his/her home town.
(iii) To ensure that the aggrieved Domestic Worker shall have access to the Department of Domestic Labour for settlement of dispute and to competent court in case of need. Domestic workers are exempted from judicial charges/fees at all levels of the judicial proceedings.
(iv) To ensure that the employer does not retain the Domestic Worker’s passport.
(v) To ensure that the runaway Domestic Workers shall be covered by insurance for an initial period of six months towards the cost of return air tickets and unpaid wages, if any.
(vi) To take legal measures against recruitment and deployment agencies, officers or companies in case of violation of law in both countries.
(c) As per available information, total number of Indians including workers in Kuwait is estimated to be about 10 lakhs. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
India & Oman review progress in military-to-military engagements during 11th Joint Military Cooperation Committee Meeting in New Delhi, New Delhi, 01 February 2022.
Secretary General at the Ministry of Defence, Oman Dr Mohammed Bin Nasser Bin Ali Al–Zaabi called on Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on February 01, 2022. They discussed ways to enhance defence cooperation between the two countries. The Secretary General at the Ministry of Defence, Oman also briefed Shri Rajnath Singh about the 11th India–Oman Joint Military Cooperation Committee Meeting (JMCC) on bilateral defence cooperation which was held in New Delhi on January 31, 2022.
The JMCC meeting was co-chaired by Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Secretary General at the Ministry of Defence, Oman. During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the progress made in military-to-military engagements, including joint exercises, industry cooperation and various ongoing infrastructure projects. It was decided to identify new avenues and examine areas of mutual interest for Joint Venture in order to enhance defence industry cooperation. Conduct of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) exercise involving the three services and enhancing the scope and complexities of the existing joint exercises were also discussed. Both the countries agreed to work together to combat the issue of drug trafficking prevalent in the North Arabian Sea.
It was agreed to hold the next JMCC in Oman on mutually convenient dates. The JMCC is the apex body between the Defence Ministries of India and Oman to comprehensively review & guide all aspects of bilateral defence cooperation.
The Secretary General also called on the three Service Chiefs and met with the CEOs of Indian Defence Industries. He will be visiting Cochin Shipyard Limited, Military Training Establishments and the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier Vikrant, during his stay. Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB).
Visit of Dr. S. Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of India to Qatar, Doha, 09 February 2022.
External Affairs Minister (EAM) of India H.E. Dr. S Jaishankar visited Doha on 09 February 2022. He held a bilateral meeting with Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister (DPM & FM) of State of Qatar H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and discussed strengthening the India-Qatar bilateral relationship and expanding political, digital economic and security partnership. The two ministers also exchanged views on global and regional situation, including developments in Afghanistan. EAM reiterated Prime Minister H.E. Narendra Modi’s invitation to Amir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to visit India. He also invited DPM& FM to India for the inaugural meeting of the India-Qatar Joint Commission Meeting. The meeting follows the telephone conversation between the two Ministers on 22 January 2022.
2. During the day, EAM and DPM & FM jointly unveiled the foundation stone at the new site of the Indian Embassy located at the Diplomatic Enclave in the West Bay area of Doha. In his remarks, EAM appreciated DPM & FM's special gesture to join him at the ceremony and viewed it as a sign of the growing strength and mutual trust of the India-Qatar relationship. He also conveyed his gratitude to His Highness the Amir and His Highness the Father Amir for their continued support to the Indians living in Qatar.
3. EAM expressed his satisfaction with the contribution of the vibrant Indian community to the socio-economic development of Qatar and welcomed their enthusiastic participation in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to mark India’s 75 years of Independence. EAM also highlighted the Government of India’s measures implemented for the welfare of the Indian community.
4. Ambassador of India to Qatar Dr Deepak Mittal, Director of Protocol of Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Ibrahim Fakhro and members of the Indian community were also present at the ceremony. Source: Embassy of India, Doha.
Historic Visit of Lieutenant General Fahd Bin Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mutair, Commander Royal Saudi Land Forces to India, New Delhi, 15 February 2022.
In a historic and landmark visit, the Commander of the Royal Saudi Land Forces, Lieutenant General Fahd Bin Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mutair, arrived in India on 14 February 2022. This is the first ever visit by a serving Royal Saudi Land Forces Commander to India and marks a deepening bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries. General MM Naravane had visited Saudi Arabia in December 2020 in a historic visit which marked the first time that an Indian Army Chief had visited Saudi Arabia. The aim of the visit is to bolster bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries.
Lieutenant General Fahd Bin Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mutair was received by General MM Naravane, Chief of the Army Staff of Indian Army on 15 February 2022 at South Block where he was accorded a Ceremonial Guard of Honour. He met the COAS for significant bilateral discussions and was briefed on security aspects.
The relationship between India and Saudi Arabia has grown owing to common interests in economic prosperity, eliminating the scourge of terrorism and mitigating the effects of climate change. Defence diplomacy forms one of the major tenets of the overall relationship.
Lieutenant General Fahd Bin Abdullah Mohammed Al-Mutair will depart for Saudi Arabia on 16 February 2022. Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB).
Unstarred Question No.1690, Drone Attack in UAE, Lok Sabha, 11 February 2022.
1690. SHRI RAVNEET SINGH BITTU:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether the Government has taken note of the recent drone attack in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in which two Indian nationals have been killed;
(b) if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether the Government has taken up the matter with UAE authorities and if so, the details thereof; and
(d) the measures taken by the Government to provide protection to Indian nationals abroad from such terror attacks in future?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS [SHRI V. MURALEEDHARAN]
(a) & (b) On 17 January 2022, there was a terror attack on an oil storage depot in Musaffah area close to Abu Dhabi in which three people, including two Indian nationals, lost their lives. Both deceased Indian nationals belonged to the State of Punjab. Of the six injured, 2 were Indian nationals, who were immediately treated for injuries.
(c) & (d) On 18 January 2022, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar received a telephone call from the Foreign Minister of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan to convey the Government of UAE’s deepest condolences to the Government of India on the death of two Indian nationals. EAM condemned the terror attack in the strongest terms and appreciated the immediate assistance provided by the UAE authorities in responding to the tragic incident. EAM also conveyed India’s strong solidarity with UAE in the face of such an attack.
Embassy of India in Abu Dhabi has worked closely with the UAE authorities, including officials from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), for repatriation of the mortal remains of the two deceased Indian nationals. The mortal remains were repatriated on 21 January 2022 and cremation was completed on the same day in their respective home towns.
Government of India accords the highest priority to the safety, security and well-being of Indian citizens abroad. Government continues to keep a close watch on developments, issues advisories whenever required and engages with the authorities of other countries to ensure the safety and security of Indian nationals abroad. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
India-UAE Virtual Summit, New Delhi, 18 February 2022.
Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan held a Virtual Summit earlier today. Both leaders expressed deep satisfaction at the continuous growth in bilateral relations in all sectors.
Hon'ble Prime Minister and His Highness the Crown Prince issued a Joint Vision Statement "Advancing the India and UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Frontiers, New Milestone". The Statement establishes a roadmap for a future-oriented partnership between India and UAE and identifies focus areas and outcomes. The shared objective is to promote new trade, investment and innovation dynamic in diverse sectors, including economy, energy, climate action, emerging technologies, skills and education, food security, healthcare and defence and security.
A major highlight of the Virtual Summit was the signing and exchange of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) by Minister of Commerce and Industry Shri Piyush Goyal and Minister of Economy of UAE, H.E. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri in the virtual presence of the two Leaders. The Agreement will provide significant benefits to Indian and UAE businesses, including enhanced market access and reduced tariffs. It is expected that the CEPA will lead to increase in bilateral trade from the current USD 60 bn to USD 100 bn in the next 5 years.
The two Leaders also released Joint Commemorative Stamp on the occasion of 75th anniversary of India's independence and 50th year of UAE's foundation. Two MOUs signed between Indian and UAE entities were also announced during the Summit. These are, MOU between APEDA and DP World & Al Dahra on Food Security Corridor Initiative and MOU between India's Gift City and Abu Dhabi Global Market on cooperation in financial projects and services. Two other MOUs - one on cooperation in Climate Action and the other on Education have also been agreed between the two sides.
Prime Minister thanked His Highness Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi for taking care of the Indian community during Covid pandemic. He also invited him to pay an early visit to India. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
English translation of Opening Remarks by Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi at the India-UAE Virtual Summit, New Delhi, 18 February 2022.
Your Highness, My Brother,
A warm welcome to today's virtual summit. First of all, I want to congratulate you and the U.A.E. Despite the challenges of Covid, the organization of Expo 2020 was very spectacular. Unfortunately, I couldn't visit U.A.E. to attend the Expo, and it’s been long since we have had face-to-face meeting. But today's virtual summit shows that despite all the challenges, our friendly relations continue to reach new heights.
Your personal role in strengthening our relationship has been extremely important. I will always be grateful to you for the way you have taken care of the Indian community of the U.A.E. even during the Covid pandemic. We strongly condemn the recent terrorist attacks in the U.A.E. India and the U.A.E. will always stand together against terrorism.
This year holds special significance for both our countries. You are celebrating the 50th birth anniversary of the founding of the U.A.E. And you've also set the vision of the next 50 years of the U.A.E. We are celebrating 75 years of our independence this year. And we have set ambitious goals for the next 25 years. The future vision of the two countries has a lot in common.
I am very happy that both our countries are signing the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement today. It is noteworthy that we were able to conclude negotiations on such an important agreement in less than three months. Normally it takes years for this type of agreement. This agreement reflects the deep friendship, shared vision and trust between the two countries. I am sure this will usher in a new era in our economic relations. And our trade will grow from $60 billion to $100 billion in the next five years.
Trade, investment, energy and people-to-people contacts have been the pillars of our cooperation. At the same time, there are possibilities of increasing our cooperation in many new areas as well. The new MOU on Food Corridors between us is a very good initiative. We welcome U.A.E.'s investment in food processing and logistics sectors. This will make India a trusted partner for the food security of the U.A.E.
India has made unprecedented progress in the field of start-ups. Last year, 44 unicorns have emerged in India. We can encourage start-ups in both countries through joint-incubation and joint-financing. Similarly, for the skill development of our people, we can also collaborate on modern Institutions of Excellence.
After the successful U.A.E. visit of the Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir last month, several Emirate companies have shown interest in investing in Jammu and Kashmir. We welcome investment by U.A.E. in all sectors including logistics, healthcare, hospitality in Jammu and Kashmir. And will provide all kinds of facilities to your companies.
Next year, India will host the G-20 summit, and the UAE, COP-28. The issue of climate is becoming increasingly important on the global stage. We can increase mutual cooperation in shaping this agenda. Both our countries also have a positive attitude towards working with like-minded partners. I am confident that "India-U.A.E.-Israel-USA", this grouping will advance our collective goals, especially in the areas of technology, innovation and finance.
Once again thank you very much from my heart for successfully organizing this virtual summit.
DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of Prime Minister’s remarks. Original remarks were delivered in Hindi. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Joint India-UAE Vision Statement - Advancing the India-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership: New Frontiers, New milestones, New Delhi, 18 February 2022.
H.E. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces, met virtually on February 18, 2022. During the meeting, Prime Minister Modi congratulated the UAE on the 50th anniversary of its foundation, meanwhile, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed congratulated His Excellency Modi and the Indian people on the 75th anniversary of independence.
Acknowledging 50 years of strong bilateral ties, both leaders agreed on a Roadmap for a future-looking partnership between the UAE and India, strengthening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with opportunities for greater depth and breadth of cooperation. The Roadmap will ensure that the two countries work together even more closely to address the shared global challenges, achieve shared objectives and build a robust and resilient relationship that is future ready. The Roadmap will promote the development of new trade, investment, and innovation dynamics, and intensify bilateral engagement in diverse areas.
The partnership between the two countries has led to the joint work on several agreements and Memorandum of Understanding in several areas, including: The Economy, Climate Change and Houbara Conservation, Industries and Advanced Technologies, Low Carbon Hydrogen Developments and Investments, Food Security, Financial Services, and Issuance of India-UAE Joint Stamps.
Acknowledging the economic synergies and shared vision, the Leaders welcomed the signing of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and expressed confidence that this Agreement will usher in stronger economic relations between the two countries and open new avenues for trade and investment. The Leaders welcomed the establishment of a dedicated India Mart in Jebel Ali Free Zone and directed their respective officials to further promote two-way investments in infrastructure projects, including expediting work on establishing a dedicated investment zone for UAE companies and joint ventures which would focus on inter alia establishing a food corridor.
Additionally, the Leaders encouraged to create investment opportunities for Indian investors in establishing specialised industrial advanced technology zones in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, integrating local value chains of the existing and future specialised economic zones in areas of logistics & services, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, agriculture, agri-tech, steel and aluminium.
Recognising shared cultural heritage and strong ties rooted in history, the Leaders agreed to set up an India – UAE Cultural Council to facilitate and promote cross- cultural exchanges, cultural projects, exhibitions and dialogue between thought leaders of the two countries. The initiative will be coordinated by the Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, UAE, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).
Over the last fifty years, the energy sector has been one of the key pillars that have enabled a special and mutually beneficial relationship between the UAE and India. Today, India is one of the UAE’s most important energy trading partners.
Strategic ties between the two nations have strengthened in recent years, particularly in the field of energy. Through the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, both countries have promoted and delivered significant investment opportunities. The UAE is one of India’s key energy providers and remains committed to meeting India’s growing energy demand and is proud to have been the first international partner to invest by way of crude oil in India’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves Program. Indian companies have steadily increased their participation across the entire UAE’s energy sector and represent some of Abu Dhabi’s key concession and exploration partners.
Further work will be undertaken to identify new collaboration opportunities to support India’s energy requirements, including new energies, and ensure the provision of affordable and secure energy supplies to India’s growing economy. As the UAE and India collectively navigate the global energy transition, both countries remain committed to working together to create a just and equitable transition to a low-carbon future.
(Climate action and renewables)
Prime Minister Modi congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohamed on UAE’s selection as the host of COP28 in 2023. Recognising the imperative need for climate action, the Leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation towards accelerating climate action to facilitate the energy transition and implementation of the Paris Agreement. The Leaders also agreed to work closely in the contexts of COP, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), and the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
Recognising that climate action will bring significant opportunities, for societies, for economic growth, and for businesses, the Leaders agreed to support each other’s clean energy missions. In this context, the Leaders agreed to establish a joint Hydrogen Task Force to help scale up technologies, with a special focus on the production of Green Hydrogen. The leaders acknowledged ongoing UAE investments in India’s clean technology programs and initiatives and called for reinforcement of B- B and public-private partnerships.
Recognising that the rapidly digitalizing world offers immense opportunities to accelerate economic growth and human development as well as to create new opportunities for investment, The Leaders agreed that the UAE and India expand cooperation and collaborate on critical technologies and mutually promote e- businesses and e-payment solutions.
Acknowledging the rapid success of start-ups in India and the UAE in recent years, the Leaders agreed to collaborate to promote start-ups from both countries to expand into the two regions and utilize such platforms as basis for growth. The start-ups could focus on, inter alia, fintech, edutech, health care, logistics and supply chain, agri-tech, chip design and green energy. The Leaders directed their officials to explore mechanisms and sectors to promote collaboration.
Both India and the UAE recognise the value of upskilling on enhancing workforce productivity, and value the contribution of the skilled workforce from India in various economic sectors in the UAE. The two parties agreed to enhance their cooperation in order to develop a mutually agreed professional standards and skills framework. The two parties agreed to closely work together to ensure that the UAE labour market skill needs from India are met by ensuring workforce access to training programs that are in alignment with the market needs and address the changing needs for the future of work.
Acknowledging India’s and the United Arab Emirates’ historic strategic partnership in the field of food security and the need to enhance the resilience and reliability of food supply chains, as demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Leaders agreed to expand cooperation through enhanced bilateral Food and Agriculture trade and Responsible Foreign Investments in Agriculture and Food Systems. The Leaders agreed that India and UAE will contribute to promoting and strengthening the infrastructure and dedicated logistic services connecting farms to ports to final destinations in the UAE. The Leaders directed relevant government agencies and industry partners to initiate and implement pilot projects pilot projects in both countries.
Emphasising the need for close collaboration among countries to deal with Covid-19 pandemic and to promote overall public health, the Leaders recognised the role played by India, and the UAE, in providing vaccines to the world. The Leaders agreed to collaborate in research, production and development of reliable supply chains for vaccines and to enhance investments by UAE entities in the rapidly growing health infrastructure in India. The leaders also agreed to collaborate in providing health care in underprivileged countries.
confirming the historical relations existing between the two countries and realizing the need to establish world-class institutions that encourage and support innovation and technological progress, the leaders agreed to establish an Indian Institute of Technology in the United Arab Emirates.
(Cooperation in international arena)
Reflecting shared values and principles, and growing strategic convergence, the Leaders resolved to reinforce mutual support in multilateral areas to promote collaboration in economic and infrastructure spheres. With the UAE being a non- permanent member of United Nation Security Council for 2022-23, His Excellency Modi congratulated His Highness Sheikh Mohamed for the UAE joining the United Nation Security Council as a non-permanent member for 2022-23 and assured full support. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed congratulated Prime Minister Modi for India’s Presidency of G-20 in 2023.
(Defence and Security)
The Leaders agreed to enhance maritime cooperation contributing to maintenance of peace and security in the region. The Leaders agreed to continue defence exchanges, sharing of experiences, training and capacity building.
Discussing regional issues, the Leaders recalled the importance of maintaining and strengthening peace in the Middle East. They reiterated that dialogue and cooperation must be the cornerstone of a more integrated, stable and prosperous region, and India welcomed the outlook of the UAE in this respect. The Leaders agreed to support international efforts to maintain peace and security in the region and resolve regional conflicts, including efforts to support the reactivation of the Middle East Peace Process in line with the two-state solution and based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and previous agreements between the parties. They expressed hope that the Abraham Accords will contribute to regional peace and create positive change for the Middle East region.
The Leaders reaffirmed their joint commitment to the fight against extremism and terrorism, including cross-border terrorism, in all forms, at both regional and international levels. They agreed to deepen their bilateral cooperation in the fight against terrorism, terrorist financing and extremism. In this context, they emphasized the importance of promoting the values of peace, moderation, coexistence and tolerance among peoples, and stressed the need for all forms of terrorism, extremism, violence, hatred, discrimination and incitement to be renounced.
In view of the recent terror attacks against the UAE, Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s full solidarity with the leadership, government and people of the UAE and offered condolences to the UAE over the victims of this cowardly terrorist act. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
India and UAE sign the historic CEPA aimed at boosting goods trade to US$ 100 billion over next five years, New Delhi, 18 February 2022.
India and UAE signed the historic Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) aimed at boosting the merchandise trade between the two countries to US$ 100 billion over next five years. The deal was signed during the virtual summit meeting between Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi and H.E. Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.
Addressing the joint press conference with Mr. Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy (UAE) and Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Shri Piyush Goyal said that India, celebrating its 75 years of independence and UAE, celebrating 50 years of its foundation were at an appropriate time to reset the relationship between two nations and take it to greater heights than ever before. The Minister observed that both India and UAE are natural partners with several complementarities and hardly any elements of competitions. He said that both nations believed in rules based fair trade, in engaging with each other in a spirit of reciprocity and were determined that people and businesses of both countries must mutually benefit from the deepening engagement.
Shri Goyal emphasized that the Agreement was not an interim arrangement but a complete and comprehensive economic partnership finalized in the shortest possible time in history. He said that the agreement covered the widest possible array of subjects from free trade to digital economy to government procurement and several other strategic areas of mutual interest. He complemented the teams on both sides for their commitment and their dedication and for successfully concluding one of the most balanced, fair and equitable agreements in just 88 days, working in a spirit of brotherhood and friendship understanding each other’s sensitivities.
Emphasizing that CEPA would generate 10 lakh jobs across multiple labour-intensive sectors, the Minister said that major sectors like gems and jewellery, textiles, leather, footwear, furniture, agriculture and food products, plastics, engineering goods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, sports goods etc. will benefit from this deal and create large scale, employment for our young boys & girls.
Shri Goyal said that there were many firsts in the CEPA agreement. He said that UAE had agreed to automatic registration and market authorization for Indian medicines in case of their regulatory approval in developed countries such as USA, EU, UK and Japan. The Commerce & Industry Minister added that the agreement also had a permanent safeguard mechanism which can be resorted to in a situation of sudden surge in imports along with strict rules of origin, which will prevent products from other countries through the CEPA route.
Addressing the gathering, H. E. Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy (UAE) termed it as a momentous new chapter in the shared history between the two nations. He added that the India-UAE CEPA is a milestone in the relationship between India and UAE and has been built on decades of enterprise and aspires to establish a new era of progress and prosperity for the people of both nations.
He highlighted the long standing cultural and economic relationship between the two nations and said that India was the first nation UAE chose to partner with in the post pandemic world. Speaking on the occasion, H.E Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade also expressed his appreciation to the teams from both sides for the early conclusion of the CEPA. He added that if our investors, entrepreneurs and businesses engage with each other with a sense of purpose, there is no limit to what can be achieved.
Several other agreements were also signed today between the two nations, including an MoU between APEDA and DP World & Al Dahra on the UAE side regarding “Food Security Corridor Initiative” and an MoU between GIFT city (IFSCA) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB).
PERMANENT MISSION OF INDIA TO THE UN
UNSC Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East (Yemen), Statement by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, New York, 15 February 2022.
Thank you, Mr. President. I thank Special Envoy Hans Grundberg and Under-Secretary General Martin Griffiths for their briefing. I also thank Ambassador Ferit Hoxha, the Chair of 2140 Committee, for his briefing on the activities of the Committee. India attaches great importance to the work of the Committee and to the work of the Panel of Experts supporting it and we look forward to the renewal of mandate of the Committee and the Panel.
2. India has been closely following the fast-paced developments in Yemen with deep concern. The number of fatalities are mounting and the escalation of the conflict is jeopardizing the chances of a ceasefire. I reiterate India’s consistent call for immediate de-escalation of the conflict followed by a nationwide ceasefire. It is our considered view that the conflict can only be resolved through dialogue and not on the battlefield.
3. It is also of serious concern to us that Yemen’s conflict is creating ripple-effects on security and stability in the entire Gulf region. Around 9 million Indians live and work in the Gulf region. Their well-being and safety is of paramount importance to us. We strongly condemn the continued cross-border missile and drone attacks into the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that have resulted in the death and injury of innocent civilians, including Indian nationals. Two Indian nationals died in the attack on UAE on January 17, while on February 10 one Indian was injured in the attack on Abha airport in Saudi Arabia. The deliberate escalation of the conflict outside of Yemen’s borders and the heightened provocative rhetoric by Ansarallah is deplorable. Instead of moving towards a solution to the conflict, such actions by Ansarallah only exacerbate it.
4. The conflict has also spilled over to the maritime domain. The recent report of the 2140 Panel of Experts documents various attacks and dangerous approaches towards shipping and commercial vessels in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Gulf of Oman emanating from Yemen. We are also witnessing arbitrary seizures and detention of shipping vessels. India is deeply worried by this trend, which threatens not only the safe passage of commercial vessels, but also maritime security in the region. I reiterate this Council’s unanimous call for urgent release of the crew members of vessel Rwabee, whose onboard crew includes 7 Indians. They continue to be detained unlawfully. Regular access to them, as well as, updates on their condition must be ensured by Ansarallah, till their release.
5. The assumption of duties by Major General Michael Beary as the Head of UN Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) is timely. We hope that his extensive engagement with all parties in recent weeks will result in the reactivation of Redeployment Coordination Committee and its joint mechanisms to implement the Hudaydah Agreement.
6. The disruption of key pillars of Yemen’s economy has also contributed to the worsening of economic and humanitarian crisis in the country.
7. In the absence of a political solution to the conflict, the humanitarian aid operations have been a lifeline for millions of Yemenis. We are worried that these aid operations are now at risk due to severe funding shortfalls. Yemeni women and children are bearing the brunt of the closure or scaling down of major UN aid programs. We hope that donor funding would be enhanced to support the 2022 UN Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen.
8. A sustainable solution to the unfolding humanitarian crisis lies in concrete short-term and long-term economic measures that benefit the people of Yemen. OCHA’s economic framework for Yemen identifies such measures, which needs immediate implementation. International support – political and financial – is essential for their implementation.
9. We once again call on all parties to renounce military confrontations and make concrete efforts towards establishing enduring peace in Yemen. The aspirations of the Yemeni people and their hopes for peace, stability and prosperity should be the focus of these efforts. I reaffirm India’s steadfast commitment to a Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned political process with the goal of achieving an inclusive and peacefully negotiated settlement to the conflict.
10. Quiet and constructive diplomacy is the need of the hour. Actions that fuel tensions and intensify the conflict further must be eschewed by all sides in the larger interest of establishing conducive conditions for a political dialogue. In this context, we appreciate the efforts of Special Envoy Grundberg in reaching out to all parties to the conflict to get them to the negotiating table to restart the political process. Parties should engage with the Special Envoy unconditionally and constructively.
11. We also encourage the Special Envoy to continue his coordination with regional countries, as their cooperation would be critical in reaching a long-lasting sustainable solution to the Yemeni conflict. Countries in the region with influence on Yemeni parties must also exert sincere efforts to restore peace and order in Yemen, as this is in the shared interests of everyone.
12. Let me conclude by reiterating India’s call for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire across Yemen followed by a robust and inclusive political process. Such a process should also fully respect Yemen’s unity, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity. We believe that with effective Yemeni, regional, international and UN leadership, a lasting and inclusive political settlement in Yemen is achievable.
I thank you, Mr. President. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
UNSC Briefing on the situation between Iraq and Kuwait, New York, 22 February 2022.
I thank the President of the Governing Council Ambassador Michael Gaffey for his briefing. I welcome the Foreign Minister of Iraq and the Permanent Representative of Kuwait to today’s meeting.
2. At the outset, let me place on record our appreciation for the consistent work of the UN Compensation Commission and thank member states, who have diligently served as the members of the Commission over these years, for their contribution to its smooth functioning. It is heartening to know that all decisions of the Governing Council of the Commission were adopted by consensus. The role of the UN Secretariat in supporting the work of the Commission was also equally important.
3. We welcome the consensus adoption of resolution 2621, which brings to closure Council’s consideration of the issue of compensation by the Commission for Iraq’s liability under various resolutions of this Council. We commend the Government of Iraq for its commitment to fulfil its obligations, despite the severe political, security and economic challenges it faced during this period. The cooperation between Iraq and Kuwait and their continued engagement with the Commission were also key contributing factors to the successful completion of Commission’s mandate. It serves as a good model of how member states can come together and achieve post-conflict reconciliation through positive cooperation.
4. We hope that this template of cooperation would continue further on the issue of missing Kuwaiti persons and third-country nationals to bring a mutually satisfactory closure to that long standing issue as well.
5. Indians and Indian companies were directly affected by the 1990 conflict between Iraq and Kuwait. Government of India had to then undertake one of the largest air evacuations in history to bring home more than 170,000 Indian nationals, who were stranded due to the conflict.
6. When the UN Compensation Commission was set-up, India had quickly established a separate Cell within the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to liaise and coordinate the claims process with the Commission. Government of India has facilitated filing of more than 150,000 claims with the Commission on behalf of Indian nationals of which around 147,000 claims were accepted by the Commission. The awards of compensation were received by the claimants and the settlement of these awards were reported in a timely manner as well to the Commission.
7. I once again congratulate the Commission for successfully completing its mandate and completing payments to all approved claims of compensation.
I thank you, Mr. President. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
UNSC monthly meeting on the Question of Palestine, Statement by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, New York, 23 February 2022.
Thank you, Mr. President. I also thank UN Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland for his briefing.
2. While India welcomes the recent high-level interactions between Israeli and Palestinian authorities, at the same time, we remain deeply concerned about the recent developments on the ground, in particular the violent attacks and killing of civilians. We have consistently advocated against all acts of violence. And we urge all sides to take immediate steps for complete cessation of violence.
3. We are closely following the developments in Sheikh Jarrah, where tensions have risen once again over the potential legal eviction of some of the Palestinian families. Recent provocative actions and statements from both sides, which can quickly reverse the gains made so far, must stop. We appeal for calm to be maintained in Sheikh Jarrah and encourage parties to exercise restraint.
4. Resolution 2334 was adopted by this Council to reaffirm the international community’s firm commitment to preventing the erosion of the two-State solution. It calls upon parties to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, to refrain from provocative acts of incitement and inflammatory rhetoric and stresses that all settlement activities must cease. Any action that unduly alters the status-quo on the ground and undercuts the viability of the two-State solution must be eschewed in the larger interests of securing peace and stability.
5. Parties must instead focus on addressing the urgent security and economic challenges, including the precarious financial situation of the Palestinian Authority, and chart a concrete path for discussing key political issues. We reiterate the need for an early resumption of the political course by launching credible negotiations on all final status issues.
6. India has consistently called for direct peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine based on the internationally agreed framework, taking into account legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for Statehood and Israel’s legitimate security concerns. The absence of such direct talks on key political issues has asymmetric costs for both Israelis and Palestinians and does not augur well for long-term peace. We call upon the UN and international community, the Middle East Quartet, in particular, to prioritize the revival of these negotiations.
7. Let me conclude by reiterating India’s firm and unwavering commitment to the peaceful resolution of the Palestine question. India’s developmental partnership with the Palestine Authority in its nation-building efforts and our financial assistance to UNRWA is a reflection of the same. India has always supported a negotiated two-State solution leading to the establishment of a sovereign, independent and viable State of Palestine living within secure and recognized borders, side by side at peace with Israel, taking into consideration the legitimate security concerns of Israel.
8. India has been supportive of international efforts towards achieving a comprehensive and lasting solution to the conflict and stands ready to contribute constructively to future efforts.
I thank you. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
UNSC Briefing on United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Statement by Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, New York, 24 February 2022.
Thank you, Mr. President. I also thank Special Representative of the Secretary General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her briefing today. I welcome the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the meeting.
2. At the outset, I express my heartfelt condolences to all the families, who have lost their loved ones in the terrorist attacks in Iraq, including the recent cowardly terrorist attack in Diyala province which resulted in the death of 11 Iraqi security personnel. We strongly condemn all such acts of terrorism.
3. The people of Iraq, despite facing economic and security challenges, have expressed their will through the ballot during the recently ratified Parliamentary election. We welcome the increased participation of women in the election and their success in winning more than 25% of the seats. The critical situation facing Iraq now requires all political parties to assume greater responsibility to overcome the current political stalemate. I reiterate India’s support for the democratic process in Iraq. We encourage all political parties to work together for early formation of a new government.
4. Meanwhile, we are witnessing politically motivated attacks on leaders, party offices and other institutions. Violence and intimidation should not be the tools for redressing political grievances. We urge all parties to reject violence and resolve their political differences through dialogue and legal avenues.
5. In this context, the continued possession of arms and weapons in large quantities outside of State control poses serious challenge to stability in Iraq. There is also an urgent need for all regional actors to stop using Iraqi territory as a launch pad for targeted attacks on other countries in the region. A strong, stable, and sovereign Iraq would lead to greater security and stability in the region.
6. The Secretary General’s report of February 10 on the implementation of UNSCR resolution 2576 states that between November 23, 2021 to January 05, 2022, there were 123 attacks by ISIS on security forces, in addition to continued targeting of community leaders and civilians. This staggering statistic is a cause of serious concern. The signs of re-emergence of ISIS in Iraq is a matter of grave concern and it calls for urgent action by the international community. Despite the success of the Iraqi security forces in combating this group, ISIS remains active in the country and the region, with its affiliates functioning independently at many places around the world. We reiterate our firm conviction that terrorism in one part of the world is a grave threat to peace and security of the entire world.
7. The people of Iraq recently celebrated the 4th anniversary of the victory over ISIS. Many brave Iraqi men and women have sacrificed their lives to ensure the defeat of ISIS. As a country that has long borne the brunt of terrorism, India is acutely aware of its human cost. We are confident that people of Iraq would continue to be vigilant against a resurgence of ISIS or its affiliates.
8. It is also critical that the international community and Iraq’s partners continue their support and assistance to enable the Iraqi security forces in the fight against terrorism and build their capacity to address future threats. Such support and assistance should ensure the irreversible defeat of ISIS.
9. The violations of Iraq’s sovereignty on the pretext of counter-terrorism operations in northern Iraq must end. Iraq’s neighbours should work with the Iraqi authorities to address all security challenges faced by them.
10. We welcome the cooperation between the Governments of Iraq and Kuwait to achieve an amicable solution to the issue of missing persons and return of Kuwaiti properties. It serves as a model of how countries can come together and achieve post-conflict reconciliation through constructive engagement. We recognize the significant support provided by International Committee of the Red Cross to facilitate progress on this issue. We hope that all parties will continue to strengthen their cooperation until the matter is resolved to the mutual satisfaction of Iraq and Kuwait.
11. India and Iraq have historically enjoyed strong people-to-people ties. India has always responded to the urgent needs of Iraq. For example, recently, more than 30 Iraqi children with congenital heart disease, whose surgeries were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, were operated at an Indian hospital in collaboration with Iraq’s Ministry of Health.
12. As a steadfast supporter of a democratic, pluralistic, federal, unified, and economically strong Iraq, India will remain a willing partner of Iraq’s economic recovery, reconciliation, and reconstruction. India will continue to provide its full support to efforts for peace, security, and development in Iraq.
I thank you. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
UNSC Open briefing/Closed consultations-Syria (political/humanitarian), New York, 25 February 2022.
I join others in thanking Special Envoy Geir O. Pedersen and Assistant Secretary General Ms. Joyce Msuya for their updates today.
2. It has been India’s consistent stand that imposing external solutions would not help in resolving the Syrian conflict. It is for the Syrians to determine and decide what is best for Syria and for their own future. The Special Envoy has been making consistent efforts to facilitate the political process in line with Resolution 2254. We support his active diplomatic efforts to end the stalemate in the Constitutional Committee process. We take note of announcement of holding of 7th Constitutional Committee meeting in Geneva next month.
3. We take positive note of Special Envoy’s recent visits to Damascus and Moscow and his meeting with the Syrian and Russian leadership, respectively. Special Envoy has also engaged with the leadership in the region, including in Egypt. We believe that regional players and Syria’s neighbours have an important role to play in peaceful resolution of this conflict and to achieve lasting progress in implementing UNSCR 2254.
4. Regarding Confidence Building Measures, we look forward to receiving Special Envoy’s paper on ‘new ideas’, as was conveyed in January to this Council. We hope the paper will address issues related to reconstruction as well. We also welcome efforts by the Syrian authorities to prioritize the return of the displaced Syrians to their own areas.
5. On the security front, we remain concerned about the overall situation in Syria, including the increasing incidents of ceasefire violations in North-West Syria. We call on all sides to desist from actions that may deteriorate the situation further. India has been repeatedly emphasizing on the looming threat posed by resurgent terrorist groups in Syria. The brutality of attacks by Daesh/ISIL in the northeast of Syria in Al Hasakah last month demonstrates the severity of the problem. The re-emergence of Daesh/ISIL in Syria and Iraq calls for urgent action by the international community. We reiterate that global fight against terrorism cannot and should not be compromised for narrow political gains. Terrorists can neither be defeated by forming alliances with non-sovereign entities nor by pushing narrow political agendas.
6. The humanitarian crisis in Syria has not seen significant improvement in recent months. We believe that a nation-wide comprehensive ceasefire is paramount to the interest of the Syrian people. It will also help to expand crossline humanitarian aid operations.
7. We note that the progress has been made to expand the overall humanitarian response and facilitate crossline access, including on drafting a six-month plan for ensuring predictable and sustainable flow of aid. In the northwest, however, we believe there is considerable scope for expanding the operations. It may also be noted that the ongoing cross border operations continue to negatively impact on the sovereignty of the Syrian state. We therefore encourage OCHA and other UN agencies to pursue efforts to enhance crossline operations.
8. There is need to scale up humanitarian assistance and shore up donor support for Syrian humanitarian response plan of the UN, which remains under-funded. We also continue to believe that it is critical to achieve progress on implementation of UNSCR 2585, with regards to early recovery. The support of the international community to address the economic and humanitarian challenges remains integral to the success of the political process.
9. On our part, India has continued to extend developmental assistance and human resource development support to Syria. In response to a request from the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic for emergency humanitarian assistance, Government of India gifted 2000 MT of rice to strengthen food security in Syria last year, in two consignments. Earlier, India had gifted 10 metric tonnes of life-saving medicines in July 2020 to Syria as part of Covid-related assistance. Over 500 Syrians have benefited from the artificial limbs (Jaipur foot) fitment camp organized in 2020.
10. To conclude, it is not to be overlooked that the political and humanitarian aspects of the conflict in Syria are strongly interlinked. India remains strongly committed to supporting the ongoing UN-facilitated Syrian-led and Syrian-owned reconciliation process as the credible way forward.
I thank you. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
UNSC briefing/consultations on Syria (Chemical Weapons), New York, 28 February 2022.
Mr. President, we would like to thank Under Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu for her update.
2. We have taken note of the contents of the last two reports by DG-OPCW submitted to this Council pursuant to Resolution 2118, as well as, reports of the OPCW Fact Finding Mission on the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2015 and 2016. We have also noted the two latest submissions made by Syrian Arab Republic detailing measures undertaken to implement its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
3. Further, we also note the Secretariat’s proposal for holding next round of inspections of facilities of the Barzah and Jamrayah facilities of the Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC) and urge that these may be held at an early date. We encourage continued engagement between Syria and the OPCW Technical Secretariat to resolve the differences at the earliest.
4. India’s position on issues related to Syria acceding to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is well known. It is our principled stand that CWC is a unique, non-discriminatory disarmament instrument for elimination of an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. India attaches high importance to the CWC, and stands for its full, effective, and non-discriminatory implementation. We support the collective efforts by all the parties to ensure that the credibility and integrity of this Convention is maintained to the fullest.
5. India is against the use of chemical weapons by anybody, anywhere, at any time and under any circumstances. India has consistently maintained that any investigation into the use of chemical weapons must be impartial, credible and objective. Such an investigation should follow scrupulously the provisions and procedures embedded in the Convention, and in conformity with the delicate balance of power and responsibility enshrined under it, to establish facts and reach evidence-based conclusions.
6. India has also been repeatedly cautioning against the possibility of terrorist entities and individuals gaining access to chemical weapons, including in the region. The reports of UNITAD have also referred to the repeated deployments of chemical weapons by UN proscribed terrorist groups and those affiliated to ISIL against civilian populations between 2014 and 2016. ISIL/Daesh remains active in Syria and Iraq, where the group is seeking to rebuild its capabilities. Therefore, allegations of the use of chemical weapons need to be dealt with utmost attention.
7. India continues to believe that progress on other tracks- political and humanitarian- would help with potential forward movement in respect of the political process in Syria as advocated by Resolution 2254.
I thank you. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
Adoption of Yemen 2140 Sanctions Committee on Yemen and its Panel of Experts [PoE], New York, 28 February 2022.
We welcome the adoption of the resolution to extend the mandate of the 2140 Committee and the Panel of Experts supporting the Committee. India attaches great importance to the work of the Committee and the Panel of Experts and, hence, we have voted in favour of the resolution.
2. This Council has reiterated, through this resolution, an unequivocal condemnation of the cross-border terrorist attacks on Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, particularly those targeting innocent civilians and civilian infrastructure, and has demanded the immediate cessation of such attacks. We welcome the Council’s action to hold Ansarallah accountable for its acts through the imposition of an arms embargo on the Group.
3. It is clear that both the conflict in Yemen and the cross-border attacks are being fuelled by the continued supply of arms and weapons in clear violation of the Council’s targeted arms embargo. In this regard, we support the resolution’s call to enhance maritime cooperation in the region and strengthen the Yemeni Coast Guard to effectively detect and prevent violations of the arms embargo. We also underline the need to address the increasing threat emanating from Yemen to safe navigation of commercial ships and merchant vessels in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Such attacks have implications for the overall maritime security in the region and must be deterred. This Council’s affirmation that such acts could constitute a designation criterion can contribute to this deterrence. The Resolution has also explicitly demanded the immediate release of the crew of vessel Rwabee, which includes seven Indian nationals held in illegal detention since January 2022.
4. As country with strong civilizational ties with Yemen, India is pained to witness the continued sufferings of the people of Yemen due to the ongoing protracted conflict. We reiterate our call to all parties of the conflict to renounce military confrontation and make concrete efforts towards establishing enduring peace. I reaffirm India’s steadfast commitment to a Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned political process with the goal of achieving an inclusive and peacefully negotiated settlement to the conflict.
I thank you. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
OIC Expresses Deep Concern over Continued Attacks on Muslims in India, Jeddah, 14 February 2022.
The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expresses deep concern over recent public calls for genocide of Muslims by the ‘Hindutva’ proponents in Haridwar in the State of Uttarakhand and reported incidents of harassment of Muslim women on social media sites as well as banning of Muslim girl students from wearing hijab in the State of Karnataka.
The continued attacks targeting Muslims and their places of worship, the recent trend of anti-Muslim legislations in different States and rising incidents of violence against Muslims on flimsy pretexts by ‘Hindutva’ groups with impunity, are indicative of the growing trend of Islamophobia.
The OIC General Secretariat calls upon the international community, especially the UN mechanisms and Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council, to take necessary measures in this regard.
The OIC General Secretariat further urges once again India to ensure the safety, security and wellbeing of the Muslim community while protecting the way of life of its members and to bring the instigators and perpetrators of acts of violence and hate crimes against them to justice. Source: Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
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
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