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The CEO of LMRA highlights details on the new labour market reforms, Manama, 06 October 2022.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Labour Market Regulatory Authority, HE Nouf Abdulrahman Jamsheer, today commended HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister’s directives to replace the Flexi Permit with a set of new labour market reforms.
HE Jamsheer highlighted that the new labour market reforms will include the registration of all current holders of Flexi permits and those without a valid work permit through labour registration centres.
HE Jamsheer noted that inspections will increase to identify employers and workers engaging in illegal activity, and that work permits will be linked to vocational and occupational standards to support a more vibrant labour market.
HE Jamsheer added that the new reforms have been introduced to safeguard the rights of employers, workers, and the Kingdom's business community.
With regards to the registration requirements, HE Jamsheer indicated that workers can only register if they reside in the Kingdom of Bahrain, have not absconded from their jobs and have a clear criminal record.
Applications will not be accepted from those who entered the country on a visit visa.
HE Jamsheer emphasised that registered workers will not be permitted to obtain a commercial registration, or work in specialised professions except after obtaining a license to practice the profession or equivalent from the relevant authorities.
HE Jamsheer noted that registered workers will be required to pay for health fees, and provide departure insurance. Flexi Permit holders will be given a period of time to register under the new system, ensuring that they have sufficient time to meet the requirements of the new changes.
HE Jamsheer indicated that, in coordination with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the private sector, new labour registration centres and an online registration section in the "Sijilat" portal will be established to increase ease of worker registration.
The registration centres will maintain an up-to-date list of data that includes workers' information, their places of residence, and bank account details, in addition to ensuring that the registrants obtain the required health certificate and professional accreditations and are accessible if required.
HE Jamsheer added that the approved centres can register workers through the Labour Market Regulatory Authority's website, which will contribute to the government's efforts in protecting human rights, addressing the issue of irregular employment, and gaining a clearer picture of the Kingdom's labour market demands. Source: Embassy of India, Bahrain.
India - Bahrain Investment Webinar, Manama, 19 September 2022.
Embassy of India, Bahrain in partnership with Bahrain-India Society, Invest India, the national investment promotion and facilitation agency of India, and Cyril Amarachand Mangal Das, a leading Indian law firm having expertise in investment matters organized a webinar on “Ease of Doing Business in India” on 18th October 2022. The event was organized for better understanding of emerging Indian Market in general and for the benefit of prospective investors from Bahrain.
2. India, now the 5th largest economy in the world, has emerged as hub of technology based start-ups and is home to more than 100 unicorns with a total valuation of approx. 350 billion. Out of these, 44 became unicorns in 2021 and, 21 became unicorns in 2022.
3. The country is becoming an attractive destination for doing business as it has jumped 79 positions from 142nd (2014) to 63rd (2019) in 'World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Ranking 2020'. Indian Government has announced Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) Schemes for 14 key sectors, which provides immense opportunities for investors to Make in India and reap benefit of incentives being offered under PLI. Recently, in September 2022, India has also approved the national logistics policy, which aims to cut logistic cost from existing 13-14% to single digit.
4. With these reforms, India is positioning itself as global manufacturing hub and an integrated part of the global supply chain. These reforms have increased confidence of foreign investors in India and the country is seeing unprecedented level of FDI flow, particularly in manufacturing sector. India received FDI flow of approximately 85 billion, 82 billion and 75 billion in FY 19-20, 20-21 & 21-22 respectively, setting a new record every year. It witnessed FDI Equity inflow of more than 21 billion in manufacturing sector alone in 2021-22.
5. The webinar was attended by more than 40 investors and businesses. Invest India made a presentation on opportunities in India and Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas briefed the participants about repatriation of profit & return on investments. Shri Ravi Kumar Jain, Second Secretary in the Embassy and CA P. S. Balasubramanyam, Vice Chairman of Bahrain India Society also addressed the participants. Speakers highlighted deep rooted historic ties which have kept deepening over time and opportunities for Bahraini investors. Presentations were followed by a Q&A and interactive session.
6. The webinar has been organized as a precursor to a Road Show planned by Invest India in Bahrain. Source: Embassy of India, Bahrain.
Visit of External Affairs Minister to the Arab Republic of Egypt (October 15-16, 2022), New Delhi, 13 October 2022.
At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Sameh Hassan Shoukry, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, will pay an official visit to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 15-16 October 2022. This will be his first bilateral visit to Egypt.
2. During the visit, EAM will discuss a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest with Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Sameh Shoukry.
3. EAM will interact with the Indian community based in Egypt, including students, and address a gathering of Egyptian and Indian business community.
4. India and Egypt traditionally enjoy warm and friendly relations underpinned by historical and cultural linkages. Both countries are celebrating 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations this year. Egypt has been invited as a ‘Guest Country’ during India’s Presidency of G-20 in 2022-23.
5. Egypt has been one of India’s largest trading partners in Africa and the promotion of bilateral trade, commerce and investments will be one of the focus areas during the visit. India - Egypt bilateral trade touched a record high at US$ 7.26 billion during FY 2021-22. Indian investment in Egypt exceeds US$ 3.15 billion. Over 50 Indian companies are actively present in Egypt in a range of sectors like manufacturing, chemicals, energy, infrastructure, retail etc.
6. EAM’s visit to Egypt will provide an opportunity to review the entire gamut of our bilateral and multilateral relations and to exchange views with the Egyptian leadership covering whole range of issues of mutual interest. The visit provides an opportunity to deepen cooperation and explore new initiatives in the bilateral partnership. Source: Embassy of India, Cairo.
Opening remarks by External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar at the Press Conference with the Foreign Minister of Egypt, Cairo, 15 October 2022.
Thank you, Excellency!
Let me say what a great pleasure it is to be here on my first official visit as the Minister of External Affairs. As Minister Shoukry pointed out, my visit takes place as we mark 75 years of our diplomatic relations. So, it is a matter of particular pride and pleasure that I could be here at this time.
In the last few years because of Covid, I think international exchanges of many countries were disrupted. But this year, I think the fact that I am here and just a few weeks ago, our defence minister, who is a very senior minister in our cabinet was also here. I think it underlines our commitment to take our bilateral relationship with Egypt to a higher level.
Our political cooperation has historically been strong. We have a number of Institutions. Some of them have been meeting regularly, some of them are due to meet. Our political consultations with the next round, will take place early next year. We hope to do a meeting of our counterterrorism working group as well. But overall, we've always had good political understanding and certainly today's meeting and discussions I think have enhanced it.
In recent times, we have also stepped up our defence and security cooperation. You would all be aware that we did some important exercises between our Airforce. We've had regular ship visits to Egypt. There have been discussions on how we can collaborate more closely on the defence side, especially in defence production. Trade and commerce has again seen a very big increase. Last year was our highest ever trade- in excess of 7.2 billion dollars. It was a big jump. Today, we reviewed that. We agreed that there were possibilities for still further growth. That both of us must work to address Market Access issues that we might have respectively.
Investment has also been very positive. Indian companies today have a recorded investment of more than 3 billion dollars and we have again close to about a billion dollars in the pipeline. And we see a lot of new possibilities. I shared with the Minister some of what we are picking up from industry, new possibilities here, particularly in renewable energy. So, we again very optimistic on that score.
We discussed how to increase air connectivity, how to grow tourism and we agreed that on this, our Ministries and our Ambassadors will work more in a focused manner. We have had a long exchange of capacity building and training exchanges as well. More than 1400 officials of Egypt and representatives in different fields have been to India in different capacities. It's a very good tradition of friendship. We would certainly like to see that continue. When it comes to education. I'm pleased to share with you, that one of our universities has reached an understanding with an Egyptian enterprise to establish a tertiary education institution here. We hope very much that some of our technology institutes who are looking for international collaboration, would find Egypt a suitable partner.
After the Covid, health is an important concern for all of us. We have an excellent history of vaccine collaboration. We believe that greater cooperation in drugs and pharmaceuticals will be mutually beneficial. Many of our companies do see Egypt as a production hub for this region. Perhaps even for other parts of Africa.
As the minister stated we had a discussion, what is happening in our respective societies. I was very impressed to learn about the progress of the Haya Karima initiative. We have today a very major effort underway in India to build, a more inclusive society and a large part of it is based on effective digital delivery. So, we agreed that perhaps an exchange of best practices and the meeting between the institutions overseeing this may be mutually beneficial.
On global affairs, both, India and Egypt, we are both civilization states. We have a tradition of thinking beyond our narrow national interests. We've always been interested in the world, involved with the world, and we have again, a history of working together, in that regard. We obviously spent some time discussing the Ukraine conflict and its repercussions for fertilizers, for food, for energy security. I shared with the Minister my perspectives on the Indo-Pacific. He spoke about his views. We discussed how to create a more resilient global economy. I heard from him about the issues of this region. I think particularly we had an exchange of views on the Palestine issue.
So, overall, my sense today is, it's been a good day for our bilateral relationship. We will be able to give stronger guidance to our systems, how to go forward. I think it's been a good meeting of minds Minister, on international issues.
As I said, we have a history of close working together in different forums and it is a matter for us, a particular pleasure that when our chairmanship of the G20, starts in December this year that we have invited Egypt to be a guest for our Chairship Period. So it is, I think something of great value that Egypt would bring to the G20 discussions.
And finally, we are very, very supportive of Egypt's chairing of the COP 27. And it is the struggle for climate action, and to ensure climate justice is something which all Global South countries feel strongly about. So, I assured the minister of our fullest support.
Thank you once again. Source: Embassy of India, Cairo.
Visit of First Training Squadron Ships to Iran, Tehran, 13 October 2022.
Three ships of the First Training Squadron INS Tir, INS Sujata along with Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS Sarathi entered Shahid Bahonar Port, Bandar Abbas on 13 October 2022. The ships are deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of their Long Range Training Deployment for the 126 Trainee Officers of 103 IOTC. The ships were escorted by IRIS Zereh into the harbour and received ceremonial welcome on Jetty by the Indian NA and dignitaries from IRI Navy’s First Naval District.
During their stay at Bandar Abbas, the ships of First Training Squadron will undertake various professional interactions with counterparts in the Iranian Navy, including cross training visits between trainees from both the Navies. The deployment of the First Training Squadron will add another chapter to the cordial relations and maritime cooperation between India and Iran. Source: Embassy of India, Tehran.
India strongly condemns the terror attack in Shiraz, Iran, New Delhi, 29 October 2022.
India strongly condemns the terror attack at the Shah-e-Cherag shrine in Shiraz, Iran. We extend our deep condolences to the families of the victims and the people of Iran.
This heinous attack is another reminder that terrorism continues to pose one of the biggest and critical threat to international peace and security and the need of the hour is for countries of the world to unite and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Visit of Secretary (CPV & OIA) to Lebanon (October 03-04, 2022), New Delhi, 03 October 2022.
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary (CPV & OIA) visited Lebanon on 03-04 October 2022. Prior to his official visit, he visited Syria on 02 October 2022.
He called on Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants of Lebanon H.E. Dr. Abdallah Bou Habib and discussed a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. He also met with H.E. Mr. Hani Chemaitelly, Secretary General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrant. Both sides identified key areas of bilateral cooperation during the meeting, including trade, people to people contact, vocational training, etc. Secretary (CPV & OIA) is also going to meet the Governor of Beirut City.
As part of India’s bilateral assistance Secretary (CPV & OIA) also handed over Made-In -India motorbikes for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants and Beirut Governorate. Secretary (CPV & OIA) also announced that an artificial limb fitment camp (Jaipur Foot) will be organized in Lebanon soon.
Secretary (CPV & OIA) also participated in a high-level Business Seminar which was attended by Minister of Industry H.E. Mr. George Bouchekian. A number of areas for enhancing trade were identified including food and agro business, pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, electronics, solar batteries, small vehicles etc.
The Lebanese side was also appreciative of the positive role played by the Indian Battalion at United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The visit of Secretary (CPV & OIA) to Lebanon has renewed the bilateral relations and will pave the way for stronger relations in future. Source: Embassy of India, Beirut.
Visit of Indian Navy’s 1st Training Squadron to Muscat, Oman, Interaction with Naval Cadets (September 30, 2022), Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang, Muscat, 03 October 2022.
‘HANDS ON DECK IN THE SERVICE OF INDIA’
Commanding Officers and Sailors of INS Tir, INS Sujata and ICGS Sarathi of the First Training Squadron.
I am honoured to visit the 1st Training Squadron and welcome all of you to Muscat.
Let me at the outset extend a warm welcome to you as you embark on your maiden sea voyage upon joining the Indian Navy and come ashore to Oman, a land with which our naval interaction goes back several thousand years.
Serving as Ambassador of India to Oman, which in maritime terms is perhaps our closest naval footprint in the region, and having been at the helm of India’s foreign policy for the Indian Ocean Region prior to this assignment, my remarks to you will have a substantial personal touch.
Let me begin by congratulating you on joining the Indian Navy, a modern, sophisticated and professional fighting force; an arm of the Indian armed forces that is truly international not just in its reach and impact but more importantly in its intellectual imagination.
This is a service that will literally ‘take you places’, keep your mental horizons broad and your compass on the move.
While all eras are special, it would not be out of place to say that you are joining the Indian Navy at an especially propitious moment in history.
India as a traditional maritime nation is today rapidly transforming itself into a formidable maritime power with a naval force that is not only among the world’s largest, but increasing sophisticated and able to project power and benign influence far away from our coastlines.
Just a few weeks ago, Prime Minister launched India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, making India a handful of countries with the capability to design and build a ship of this size and complexity, demonstrating the technological leaps we have taken in the 75 years of our independence.
As the inheritor of our nation’s rich maritime heritage, the Indian Navy has grown in size, strength and capability year on year since independence and today its daunting presence across the oceans truly demonstrates its reach and influence across the vast swathes of oceanic waters.
As Naval Cadets you cannot but be conscious of the significant role and contribution of the maritime domain to the Nation’s growth, security and prosperity.
As Indian economy has grown, its reliance on the maritime domain has only increased, with implications for our trade, commerce and energy security. You will be called upon to secure this domain and in doing so directly contribute to India’s growth and transformation.
The Indian Navy that you are joining is today more than just a fighting force.
More often than not, you will be called upon to carry out tasks and roles that will be far removed from war fighting, including doing things such as delivering rations and medicines in our extended maritime neighbourhood.
I will dwell on this a bit later, but suffice to say that the broad range of operations that the Indian Navy undertakes today has undergone a sea change, no pun intended. This wide spectrum also has a significant diplomatic component, something that makes the Navy a very special service.
But most importantly, you are joining the Indian Navy at a time when India, and indeed the whole world, is intellectually reimagining the maritime space and coming up with new constructs to define and bookend it.
That we live in a world in flux should be obvious to anyone who reads the morning paper, or to put it more contemporarily, glances through social media headlines.
From a maritime perspective, the salience of maritime choke points has increased - even as global supply chains have become stressed, melting ice due to climate change is literally adding more water to the oceans, opening up areas for navigation hitherto closed; and great power competition is increasingly about the control of the oceanic space, or at the very least motivated by the exigency of keeping this space open, inclusive and rules-based.
As you sail into a new journey as Indian Naval cadets therefore, you are not just the inheritors of a proud maritime legacy, but also torchbearers of a new phase of maritime diplomacy.
Your career in the Indian Navy will see you performing multifarious roles, some established, some emerging and some unseen and unimagined.
From my own perspective, five such roles deserve mention - each essential, each important and each a critical part of modern day maritime conduct.
First, delivering aid.
I alluded to supplying rations earlier. Indian Navy has today assumed the role of the First Responder in the region and this will enjoin you to reach shores afar with humanitarian aid. This may be in the form of rice, or oil, or water or even vaccines.
I speak from experience.
In January 2020, when cyclone Diane devastated parts of Madagascar, INS Airavat was the first to reach with 600 tonnes of rice. This was Op Vanilla.
In May 2020, as the pandemic disrupted sea borne trade and supplies to island countries, India’s Ministry of External Affairs and Indian Navy launched the first ever combined Mission covering the entire Indian Ocean region. This was the iconic Mission Sagar.
INS Kesari travelled over 7500 nautical miles over 55 days delivering foodgrains, Covid medicines, Ayuvedic medicines, and medical assistance teams to Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros. This was a major milestone in India’s maritime and Covid diplomacy.
Second, disaster prevention and relief.
Indian Navy and the Coast Guard are the first in the region to douse fires, speaking both metaphorically and concretely. I was witness to two such mammoth HADR operations in our maritime neighbourhood.
The grounding of super tanker Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius led to an environmental emergency and India responded swiftly, preventing a major environmental disaster and an economic and tourist shock to Mauritius.
An even bigger disaster was averted much closer to our land when the combined team of ICGS and IN was able to mobilize within hours of MT New Diamond catching fire off the east coast of Sri Lanka.
Both these operations vividly showcased not just our renewed capability to deploy at scale and at vast distances but more importantly our willingness to step up the plate and serve as a first responder to such crises in our maritime neighbourhood.
The third major role that the Indian Navy is called upon to play is to secure and keep safe our sea-lanes of communication. This is a critical service that has a direct impact on the economic health and wellbeing our country.
Increasingly though the role of IN in this regard has expanded to not just look at SLOCs from our own national perspective but to secure and protect them as global commons.
Today, when IN vessels deploy off the coast of Oman under Op Sankalp, they are providing a service to all nations who have a stake in the stability of SLOCs and choke-free maritime trade.
The fourth and perhaps the most obvious role is ensuring maritime security.
India’s geographical place straddling atop the Indian Ocean gives it a veritable pole position when it comes to maritime security in the region. Nevertheless, the Indian Ocean is now a crowded space and it will take imagination, dedication and will to convert its competitive challenges into cooperative possibilities.
You will have a central role to play in this regard.
It is important to note however that in today’s day and age, the concept of maritime security itself has metamorphosed.
Maritime safety and security is increasingly multifaceted, especially with the growth of non-traditional threats. The security palate in front of us includes in equal measure maritime terrorism, smuggling, transnational crimes such as drug-trafficking and arms smuggling, illegal immigration, IUU fishing, piracy to name a few.
These are the threats that you will likely confront on a daily basis, testing your training, resilience and coordination skills.
Fifth is your role as diplomats. Yes, diplomats do not only belong to the Foreign Service. White is also a colour of diplomacy and naval visits and exchanges play a vital role in facilitating international exchanges.
In many ways, international exchanges and cooperation will be your daily bread and butter, meeting and greeting friendly ships on sea, calling on ports such as this one in Muscat, providing SAR and HADR services to distressed foreign nationals and working with like-minded partners to neutralize maritime threats.
It is possible that upon your retirement, some of you as Naval officers would have seen more countries than your counterparts in the IFS. And no, we are not jealous of that!
In fact, the close coordination between diplomats and sailors, i.e. between the MEA and Indian Navy – which I have witnessed from close quarters – is a key instrument of maritime diplomacy and will be an essential skill to you.
Diplomacy brings me to your current perch, our maritime neighbour Oman.
The bilateral maritime history between India and Oman dates back to more than 5000 years. The first contact between these lands was established by sea and till date the oceanic medium remains the key driver of our bilateral cooperation. Story goes that it was a sailor from Oman Abdul Ibn Majid who guided the European explorer Vasco da Gama from the African coast to Indian shores.
Several generations of Indians and Omanis have traversed the Arabian Sea and laid down the keel of an enduring maritime relationship. Consequently, many Indians have also made Oman their home and you will meet some of them during your stay here.
The contributions made by mariners of the yore from coasts of Kutch and Malabar on Indian side and from Salalah, Sur and Muscat from Omani side merits special mention. The warmth and support we enjoy in this land today is largely attributable to the brave seafarers of yesterday.
Many of you will return to these ports during the course of your journeys in the Indian Ocean. Many of you will have the opportunity to work closely with the officers of the Royal Navy of Oman.
Cooperation between Indian and Omani naval forces is a force for good in this maritime region and I am sure that the two navies will sail together into deeper waters, learning from each other with mutual respect and understanding.
Your professional conduct and interactions during bilateral engagements with the host navy would contribute immensely to maintaining the excellent reputation that we enjoy.
In conclusion, as you gain your ‘first sea legs’ on completion of training at the Indian Naval Academy, let me welcome you to Oman once again.
The Indian Embassy is happy and proud to contribute to your growth and exposure abroad. In addition to the professional interactions, I would urge you to make the most from your stay, explore the beautiful city of Muscat and experience life in Oman.
May you have fair winds and calm seas, an even keel and a steady compass.
Wish you happy sailings, both in this journey and the illustrious naval career that awaits you ahead.
Always remain hands on deck in the service of India.
Jai Hind! Source: Embassy of India, Muscat.
Visit of Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs of India, to Oman (3-4 October 2022), Muscat, 04 October 2022.
Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State (MOS) for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs of India, paid an official visit to the Sultanate of Oman October 3-4, 2022. This was his second official visit to Oman in his capacity as the Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs. He last visited in December 2020.
2. During the visit, MOS met with Foreign Minister H.E. Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Albusaidi and undertook a detailed review of the state of bilateral relations between India and Oman. He also held discussions with H.E. Abdulsalam Mohammed Abdullah Al Murshidi, Executive President of Oman Investment Authority, and H.E. Tahir Al Amri, Executive President, Central Bank of Oman. In addition, he interacted with the representatives of a diverse cross-section of the Indian community, including representatives of the Indian Social Club and Indian schools, social and charity workers, Chartered Accountants, and leaders of the healthcare industry. He also addressed the Indian community members at a Reception hosted at the Embassy of India.
3. In his meeting with the Foreign Minister, MOS reaffirmed the invitation of India to the Sultanate of Oman to participate as a Special Guest in the meetings and Summit of the G-20 under India’s Presidency. He noted that this invitation to Oman is a testimony to the high importance attached by Government of India to its bilateral relationship with Oman and expressed confidence that Oman’s participation in the meetings of the G-20 will provide yet another platform for strengthening and deepening of ties between the two countries.
4. MOS discussed strengthening financial connectivity and scaling up investment collaboration between both countries during his separate meetings with H.E Tahir Al Amri, CEO of Central Bank of Oman (CBO), and H.E. Mr. Abdulsalam Al Murshidi, Executive President, Oman Investment Authority. He underscored the huge investment opportunities in infrastructure, manufacturing and energy sectors in India and highlighted the policy initiatives being taken in India under the leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi which have led India to become one of the most attractive investment destinations in the world.
5. A milestone MOU was signed in the presence of MOS between the Central Bank of Oman and the National Payments Corporation of India providing for acceptance of RuPay cards and UPI platform in Oman as well as collaboration for seamless cross-border remittances. The MOU will help enhance financial connectivity between the two countries thereby helping boost two-way trade and tourism, apart from benefiting the Indian diaspora. MOS also witnessed the exchange of an MOU between Oman News Agency (ONA) and Asian News International (ANI), which will facilitate greater exchange of news and information between the two sides.
6. MOS also met with the prominent members of the Indian community and community organizations in Oman and listened to their views and suggestions for the well-being of the Indian community in Oman. He thanked them for their enthusiastic contribution to the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of India’s Independence and for their solidarity and contributions for community welfare during the pandemic. In his meetings, he conveyed his deep appreciation to Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and the Government of Oman for ensuring the well-being of the vibrant Indian community in Oman.
7. MOS also offered prayers at the famous Krishna Temple located in Darsait, Muscat. Source: Embassy of India, Muscat.
Welcome remarks by Ambassador during Community Reception hosted in honour of Hon'ble Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs of India, Shri V. Muraleedharan on 4 October 2022.
Eminent members of the diaspora,
Representatives of community organizations,
Members of Indian Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to the Indian Embassy.
It is a pleasure to see all of you gathered here to meet and greet our Minister of State for External Affairs Shri Muraleedharan ji.
On your behalf and on behalf of all the Indians living in Oman, it is my distinct privilege to welcome Shri Muraleedharan ji to Oman.
Sir, we are privileged to have you in our midst.
Muraleedharan ji is no stranger to you.
Over the past few years as our Minister of State for External Affairs with key responsibility of the Indian community worldwide, he has distinguished himself with his simplicity, humility, commitment and work ethic.
He genuinely cares about all Indians living abroad and pursues their interests and welfare with a remarkable focus and determination.
His commitment to the welfare of Indians can be seen from the fact that his first meeting after arrival in Muscat was not with the political leadership, social luminaries or the business community. He instead chose to spend his few official hours visiting a labour camp and interacting with Indian workers.
Over the last two days, he has kept a punishing schedule reaching out and interacting with the entire range of the Indian entities, professional organizations, charity workers, etc.
While the duration of his visit this time is just about 48 hours, during this time Hon’ble Minister has honoured us with the unveiling of the first ever statue of Mahatma Gandhi ji in Oman, inaugurated a permanent exhibition on India-Oman Political Journey and the newly designed Embassy Library; visited a Labour camp, had at least 10 separate meetings with Indian community organizations, held meetings with 3 Ministers in Government of Oman; witnessed the exchange of an MoU between ANI and Oman New Agency for exchange of news and information, as also the signing of a milestone MOU between Central Bank of Oman and National Payments Corporation of India for acceptance of RuPay cards in Oman and collaboration on the UPI platform including for remittances.
Besides this, he has met a cross-section of Government and business leaders among other interactions.
As your Ambassador, I can confirm that he has not taken even an hour’s break since he has landed in Muscat.
Hon’ble Minister’s commitment to work relentlessly for the welfare of Indians abroad is in consonance with the priority attached to active engagement with our diaspora by Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji and is truly an inspiration to us. The Embassy of India in Muscat seeks to translate his vision and commitment in our daily interactions with all of you.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Without much further ado, may I invite Hon’ble Minister to address us and share his thoughts.
Please welcome him with a big round of applause. Source: Embassy of India, Muscat.
Milestone MOU signed for acceptance of RuPay card and UPI QR Code based mobile payments in Oman, Muscat, 04 October 2022.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today between National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) International Payments Ltd (NIPL) and Central Bank of Oman (CBO) during the visit of Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs Shri V. Muraleedharan to Sultanate of Oman.
This MoU will enable the acceptance of Indian RuPay cards issued by banks in India at all OmanNet network ATMs, POS & E-commerce sites; as well as reciprocal acceptance of Oman cards/MPCSS in the networks of NPCI in India. The MOU will also enable building partnerships for real-time cross border remittances between India and Oman using UPI rails.
Reciprocal acceptance of respective payment cards and cooperation in building cutting-edge remittance solutions based on the UPI platform will not only facilitate and promote two-way travel and tourism, but UPI based remittance solutions will also go a long way in facilitating the large Indian diaspora in Oman in sending money back to India seamlessly.
In recent years, India has emerged as a global leader in digital finance and mobile-based payment solutions, with India’s United Payments Interface (UPI) revolutionizing the digital payment space.
Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system that powers multiple bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features, seamless fund routing & merchant payments into one hood. It also caters to the “Peer to Peer” collect request which can be scheduled and paid as per requirement and convenience.
In the month of September 2022, number of transactions on India’s UPI platform crossed 6.78 billion amounting to over Rs. 11.16 trillion.
The MOU between NPCI and CBO is a milestone in bilateral relations between India and Oman and will play an important role in strengthening the people to people ties and benefiting both economies. Source: Embassy of India, Muscat.
Inauguration ceremony of the UTSC Gulf Cup Hockey Fiesta 2022, Remarks by Ambassador Amit Narang, Muscat, 28 October 2022.
It gives me immense pleasure to be here with you at the inauguration ceremony of the UTSC Gulf Cup Hockey Fiesta 2022, the flagship hockey tournament conducted under the patronage of the Oman Hockey Association and approved by the Asian Hockey Federation.
It is exciting to know that six international hockey teams are participating, apart from the six teams from Oman participating in the tournament.
Let me express my heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Marwan Juma Al Juma- the chairman of the Oman Hockey Association, for the wholehearted support and guidance given to promote Hockey in Oman.
Let me also take this opportunity to congratulate and appreciate the efforts of the UTSC sports club for taking the lead in organizing this tournament and popularizing Hockey in Oman.
UTSC has made this tournament an all-encompassing and inclusive movement by including a special match between Oman National Women's team and Dubai Hockey Club, apart from games for boys and girls of Indian Schools in Oman.
As you all know, Hockey is one of the oldest and most popular sports played in India and has a long-standing rich legacy in the country. India has loomed large in the arena of world hockey and produced some of the finest players the game has ever seen. Players like Dhyan Chand, Balbir Singh, K.D. Singh, Dhanraj Pillay, and Dilip Tirkey mesmerized us with their absolute domination and deft wizardry. The list goes on.
India's achievements in the game of Hockey need no reiteration to this audience.
In the golden era of Indian Hockey between 1928 and 1956, the Indian Men's Hockey team won six straight Olympic gold medals, winning 24 matches, scoring 178 goals, and conceding only 7 in the process. Altogether India has won 12 Olympic medals, of which 8 are Gold, one is Silver, and 3 are Bronze. India also has a well-established Women's hockey team, which has won several medals, including the Gold in the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Women's Asia Cup, and Asia Champions Trophy.
Oman has the longest affiliation with Hockey compared to any other country in the region. Hockey in Oman dates back more than a century, and the Oman Hockey Association, formed in 1973, has been instrumental in popularizing Hockey in the country.
There is an interesting connection between India and Oman in Hockey. It was the former Indian Hockey coach Saiyed Ali Sibtain Naqvi who revolutionized the game of Hockey in Oman. He was a well-loved and respected figure in the sports field and was the coach of the Indian Hockey Team, both Men & Women, before taking over as coach of the Oman Hockey team in 1982.
We remember him today as Oman Hockey is finally taking its place on the world stage.
These are exciting times for Hockey in Oman as the Sultanate has been selected to host the inaugural Hockey 5s World Cup to be held in January 2024.
Let me assure the Oman Hockey Association of all the support and cooperation from India for successfully conducting the inaugural Hockey 5s World Cup.
Before I conclude, let me also wish all the teams participating in the UTSC Gulf Cup Hockey Fiesta 2022 the very best.
Thank you. Source: Embassy of India, Muscat.
India provides US$ 2.5 million to UNRWA for the welfare of Palestinian Refugees, Ramallah, 31 October 2022.
The Government of India presented US$ 2.5 million (second tranche of a total contribution of US$ 5 million for the Financial Year 2022-2023) to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), in support of the Agency’s core programmes and services, including education, healthcare, relief and social services.
The financial contribution was presented to Ms. Xuran Wu, Associate Donor Relations and Projects Officer, Department of External Relations, UNRWA at the Representative Office of India in Ramallah, Palestine. Source: Embassy of India, Ramallah.
Prime Minister speaks to HH Amir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of Qatar, New Delhi, 29 October 2022.
Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi spoke to HH Amir Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar and thanked him for his gracious Diwali greetings. Prime Minister also conveyed his best wishes for a successful FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
In his tweet message, the Prime Minister said - "Was happy to speak with HH Amir @TamimBinHamad of Qatar. Thanked him for his gracious Diwali greetings and conveyed best wishes for a successful @FIFAWorldCup in Qatar. We agreed to jointly celebrate 50 yrs. of India-Qatar diplomatic relations in 2023." Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Visit of Secretary (CPV & OIA) to Syria, New Delhi, 02 October 2022.
Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary (CPV & OIA) visited Damascus on 02 October 2022. He called on Syria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates H.E. Dr. Fayssal Mekdad and discussed a range of bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. Both sides identified key areas of bilateral cooperation during the meeting, including renewable energy, pharmaceuticals, fertilizers, civil aviation, vocational training, etc. Secretary (CPV & OIA) also met with H.E. Mr. Mohamed Seif El-Din, Minister of Social Affairs & Labour of Syria.
2. As part of India’s developmental and humanitarian assistance to Syria, Secretary (CPV & OIA) inaugurated the Second Artificial Limb Fitment Camp (Jaipur Foot) in Damascus for the needy people of Syria on the occasion of 153rd Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. He also announced 200 Scholarships for the Syrian Students under Phase III of Study in India programme in the current academic year. A total of 1,000 Syrian students have benefitted from the first two phases of the scholarship scheme.
3. The visit of Secretary (CPV & OIA) to Syria provided much needed impetus to our bilateral relations with the country. Source: Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
Shri Piyush Goyal co-chairs 10th Meeting of the India-UAE High Level Joint Task Force on Investments along with His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, New Delhi, 11 October 2022.
The tenth meeting of the UAE-India High Level Joint Task Force on Investments (‘The Joint Task Force’) took place today in Mumbai. It was co-chaired by Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, and His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The Joint Task Force was established in 2013 to promote trade, investment and economic ties between the UAE and India. This was the first meeting of the Joint Task Force since the signing of the India-UAE Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and unveiling of the Joint UAE-India Vision Statement in February 2022 during the virtual summit between Shri. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.
The CEPA is a major trade agreement set to transform bilateral economic, trade and investment ties and propel economic growth. Both these historic landmarks provide a clear roadmap for continued strengthening of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two countries at an accelerated pace.
During this tenth meeting of the Joint Task Force, the co-chairs recognized the early trends of positive impact of the historic India-UAE CEPA on bilateral trade between the two countries since it entered into force in May 2022. The co-chairs urged businessmen on both sides to gain optimal benefits from the conducive trade ecosystem created under CEPA. The co-chairs also noted progress on various aspects of the CEPA including establishment of the CEPA Joint Committee and related sub-committees.
The two delegations reviewed the status of the negotiations of the India-UAE Bilateral Investment Treaty. Twelve rounds of negotiations have been conducted till date. Both sides noted that much progress could have been achieved since the commencement of the negotiations, and therefore reiterated their commitment to accelerate the process for an early conclusion of a balanced and mutually beneficial agreement.
Discussions also took place on ways of enhancing bilateral investments in key sectors like food security, manufacturing, infrastructure, energy and technology. In this context, it was agreed that the concerned authorities in both countries will explore establishment of efficient and integrated Single Window Solutions and Virtual Trade Corridors to reduce costs and time involved in trade and investment related procedures. From the UAE side, it was agreed that the Department of Economic Development of Abu Dhabi will explore this area of cooperation with the concerned counterparties in India in order to agree a mutually beneficial implementation approach.
As a means of encouraging increased investment flows by UAE sovereign investment entities into India, the two sides reviewed UAE’s request with respect to providing tax incentives to certain UAE sovereign investment entities under existing UAE-India Tax Treaty, and India’s response to provide the same under the existing domestic tax laws of India. It was agreed that bilateral discussions should continue to reach a mutually beneficial outcome which meets the policy objectives of both countries. In this context, the support provided to UAE sovereign entities through the Finance Act 2020 and subsequent issuance of notifications for tax exemption was noted and appreciated.
An important area discussed was the creation of a mechanism for carrying out bilateral trade in national currencies. Referring to the ongoing discussions between Reserve Bank of India and Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) as a common digital payments platform, both sides agreed to continue discussions.
In the positive backdrop provided by the extensive and growing trade and investment relationship between India and the UAE, the two sides acknowledged the importance of using the Joint Task Force as a forum to address specific issues and difficulties faced by the companies when investing into each other’s countries. India has set up a UAE Plus Desk in 2018 and established a Fast Track Mechanism in 2019 to identify, resolve and expedite issues faced by the UAE companies and investors in India. The UAE Special Desk in India was commended for its efforts in leading and facilitating UAE investments across sectors. In this regard, it was agreed that the Indian side will provide the necessary support to UAE Fast Track Mechanism in India to ensure speedy resolution of pending issues and difficulties experienced by a number of UAE companies and banks operating in India.
It was also agreed that a similar India Fast Track Mechanism would be set up in the UAE immediately to resolve issues pertaining to the Indian investors in the UAE, and to assist Indian companies in market entry and expansion when investing in the UAE. In this context, issues pertaining to some Indian companies in UAE were noted and it was agreed that the UAE side will provide the necessary support to ensure speedy and mutually satisfactory resolution of these issues.
Speaking at the meeting, Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles, Government of India, and Co-Chair of the Joint Task Force, said: “During the last meeting of the Joint, Task Force we had decided to fast-track the negotiations of CEPA, and we finalized the agreement in unprecedented 88 days. I am sure that the discussions we have had today on mutually beneficial areas like food security and bilateral trade in national currencies, will also see similar thrust from both sides. The India-UAE relations are witnessing unprecedented momentum. We have a large number of opportunities for cooperation and increasing investments especially the key sectors like infrastructure and technology, especially Fintech.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Co-Chair of the Joint Task Force, said:
“Since the last meeting of the Joint Task Force in October 2021, several significant milestones have been reached that serve to cement the close, growing and strategic relationship between India and the UAE. Within this broader context, the Joint Task Force continues to facilitate positive dialogue between our two countries as we strengthen the economic links that have helped to draw our nations together. The Joint Task Force has proved effective in creating new opportunities and removing barriers, and it will continue to play an important role in promoting bilateral investment in support of our respective countries’ growth ambitions.”
The meeting was attended by H.E. Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE State Minister for Foreign Trade, H.E. Dr. Ahmed A.R. Albanna, UAE’s Ambassador to India, H.E. Shri Anurag Jain, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, and senior officials from relevant government authorities, investment entities and companies from both countries. Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB).
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Housing and Urban Affairs Shri Hardeep S. Puri to visit ADIPEC-2022, UAE, New Delhi, 31 October 2022.
Shri Hardeep S. Puri, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas & Housing and Urban Affairs will visit UAE from 31st October 2022, to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC-2022) on the invitation of H.E. Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, UAE and H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry & Advanced Technology UAE & Managing Director and Group CEO Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
During the visit, the Minister will deliver his special remarks at the inaugural ceremony of ADIPEC-2022 along with the hosting Ministers ie H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of Industry & Advanced Technology UAE, MD & Group CEO, ADNOC and H.E. Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei - Minister of Energy and Infrastructure UAE, and few select other Ministers: H.E Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud - Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, H.E. Haitham Al Ghais - Secretary General OPEC, and H.E. Tarek El Molla - Minister of Petroleum & Mineral Resources Egypt.
Hon’ble Minister is scheduled to have bilateral discussions with his counterparts from UAE, H.E. Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and H.E. Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of Industry & Advanced Technology, MD & Group CEO, ADNOC, to strengthen energy cooperation within the overall framework of India-UAE Strategic Partnership.
Hon’ble Minister will also have meetings with his counterparts from various countries and Heads of international energy organizations and CEOs of global oil & gas companies, who are attending the ADIPEC- 2022.
During the event, Hon’ble Minister will also inaugurate the India Pavilion, set up jointly by Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry (FIPI) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
Hosted by ADNOC, ADIPEC is one the world's leading events of the energy industry and aims to provide insights on the latest trends affecting an evolving global energy system including the global economy, energy supply and security challenges, as well as next generation of energy solutions. Source: Press Information Bureau (PIB).
PERMANENT MISSION OF INDIA TO THE UN
UNSC meeting of Iraq/ UNAMI, Approved India Statement, New York, 04 October 2022.
Thank you, Mr. President. I take note of the briefing by Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Iraq Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. We appreciate UNAMI’s work in Iraq. I welcome the participation of Permanent Representative of Iraq in the meeting.
2. Nearly a year after the holding of peaceful, free and fair parliamentary elections, the people of Iraq still do not have an elected government. The continuing political impasse impacts the people of Iraq directly, who have already endured immense challenges in the last two decades — from terrorism to economic hardships.
3. India urges all political parties to rise above their differences and assume greater responsibility to overcome the current stalemate. A peaceful dialogue on a constructive way forward is the need of the hour. In this regard, we welcome the convening of the national dialogue among Iraq’s political leaders and parties. Constructive engagement by all parties in the dialogue is a critical first step to avoid further political deadlock and violence.
4. The ongoing political instability also affects the security situation in Iraq, which continues to be fragile and volatile. We are deeply concerned about the continued terrorist attacks of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Terrorist forces must not be permitted to exploit the current political vacuum in the country.
5. The continued possession of arms and weapons in large quantities outside of State control is matter of grave concern. It poses a serious challenge to stability in Iraq. The deadly clashes of August 29-30 serve as a timely reminder and highlight the urgency of addressing this issue within Iraq’s constitutional framework.
6. The repeated violations of Iraq’s sovereignty under the pretext of counter-terrorism operations must end. We condemn all such acts and call upon Iraq’s neighbours to work with the Iraqi authorities to address all security challenges that they face.
7. Despite its internal challenges, Iraq continues to be a positive contributor to regional stability and friendly relations. We welcome Iraq’s efforts and constructive role in promoting regional talks aimed at strengthening security and stability in the region.
8. We also welcome the cooperation between the Governments of Iraq and Kuwait to achieve an amicable solution to the issue of missing persons and the return of Kuwaiti properties. It is imperative to maintain the momentum and move towards an early and mutually satisfactory conclusion of this important humanitarian file.
9. Let me conclude by reiterating the importance of the sense of urgency required for Iraq’s political leaders to overcome divisions, set aside partisanship and attempt to put the interests of the people of Iraq at the forefront. An end to the political deadlock is urgently required to meet people's aspirations and hopes, and secure their safe and prosperous future.
I thank you. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
United Nations Security Council Meeting on Yemen, India Statement, New York, 13 October 2022.
Thank you, Mr. President. I thank Hans Grundberg and Joyce Msuya for their updates on latest developments in Yemen.
2. India is deeply disappointed to learn that the parties have not agreed to an extension and expansion of the truce. We have seen the tangible benefits of the truce in the past six months: active military operations had ceased; cross-border strikes into Yemen’s neighbours had halted; civilian casualties had dropped significantly; fuel imports through Hudaydah port had eased shortages; and international commercial flights out of Sana’a airport had resumed. We welcome the commitment shown by the Government of Yemen in implementing the truce agreements in good faith.
3. It is time for warring parties to take a human-centric approach to the conflict and not merely view it as a military or political game. We take note that negotiations on truce renewal, facilitated by the Special Envoy, are underway and, we hope that a mutually satisfactory agreement is reached soon.
4. We appreciate the flexibility shown by the Yemeni Government on the proposals made by the Special Envoy. We urge Ansarallah to reciprocate this flexibility and engage with the Special Envoy constructively. In the meantime, we also urge all parties to maintain the spirit of the truce and refrain from provocations or any military action that could lead to resumption of active hostilities.
5. The conflict so far has already resulted in unprecedented humanitarian tragedy in Yemen with enormous loss of lives, endangering millions of civilians with chronic food insecurity, as well as exacerbating the miseries of the people, particularly for women and children. The only sustainable solution to the conflict is a peacefully negotiated, Yemeni-led and Yemeni-owned political settlement that prioritizes the well-being of all Yemenis and meets their legitimate aspirations.
6. I will conclude, Mr. President, by reaffirming India’s strong commitment to Yemen’s unity, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. The Government of India will remain steadfast and unwavering in its continued support to the people of Yemen in their endeavour to seek peace, stability, and economic development. I thank you. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
UNSC Briefing and Consultations on UNSMIL/Libya, Statement by Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj, Permanent Representative of India to the UN, New York, 24 October 2022.
I would like to thank SRSG Abdoulaye Bathily for his briefing and assure him of India’s full support.
2. The situation in Libya is indeed concerning, as we have heard from the SRSG. The Security Council expressed its condemnation of the violent clashes in Tripoli. However, as we saw last month, more clashes between armed groups occurred in Libya leading to civilian casualties.
3. As we have been repeatedly mentioning, the political stalemate and the subsequent mobilization of armed groups in Libya have the potential to undermine the gains made since the signing of the Ceasefire Agreement in October 2020. There is no military or armed solution to the issues facing Libya. This point needs to be emphasized by the international community, including by this Council.
4. The immediate priority is to resolve all outstanding issues in arriving at a Constitutional basis for holding Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Holding elections at the earliest in a free, fair, inclusive, and credible manner is an urgent imperative.
5. Violent clashes that are recurring regularly between the armed groups bring into focus once again the dangers posed by the continued presence of foreign forces and mercenaries in Libya. Their presence in Libya is a violation of the Libyan Ceasefire Agreement of 2020 and goes against the pronouncements of the Security Council. Violations of Security Council resolutions, especially its provisions on arms embargo, are continuing with blatant disregard for peace and stability in Libya and the region. I would like to reiterate, what the UN Panel of Experts of the Libya Sanctions Committee in their recent report have categorically pointed out: “The remainder of the training provided by Turkey to the Government of National Unity Affiliated Forces is military or naval in nature and thus a violation of Paragraph 9 of UN Security Council Resolution 1970 (2011)”.
6. We remain concerned at the resurgence of terrorist activity in Libya, and we reiterate that terrorist groups and affiliated entities must not be allowed to operate unchallenged in Libya. Terrorism emanating from Libya is bound to have cascading effects in the Sahel region and it is therefore important for the international community to address it, at this stage itself, so as to avoid its collateral consequences on the wider African continent.
7. The political process in Libya should be fully Libyan-led and Libyan-owned with no imposition or external interference. India for its part remains committed to supporting Libya and the Libyan people in their endeavour to seek lasting peace and stability.
Thank you! Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
UNSC briefing on Syria (Chemical Weapons), India Remarks, New York, 25 October 2022.
Thank you, Mr. President. We thank Under Secretary General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu for the update.
2. We note the consistent lack of progress on this track of discussions on Syria in the Council.
3. Throughout our present term on the Council, we have encouraged sustained engagement between Syria and the OPCW Technical Secretariat to resolve all outstanding issues.
4. India attaches high importance to the Chemical Weapons Convention and stands for its full, effective, and non-discriminatory implementation.
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.
6. We have repeatedly cautioned against the possibility of terrorist entities and individuals gaining access to chemical weapons, including in the region. Therefore, any allegation of use of chemical weapons needs to be dealt with utmost attention.
7. To conclude, India continues to believe that progress on other tracks would also help in facilitating overall political peace process in Syria, as advocated in UNSCR 2254. I thank you, Mr. President. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
UNSC briefing/consultations-Syria (political/humanitarian), India Remarks, New York, 25 October 2022.
I join others in thanking Special Envoy Geir Pedersen for his briefing. We also thank USG Martin Griffiths for his update on the humanitarian situation. I will focus my remarks on the political process, terrorism and humanitarian situation.
2. The stalemate in the political process has become unsustainable and it is evident from Special Envoy’s briefing. There has been hardly any progress in the recent times, particularly regarding the constitutional committee. Since its last meeting in Geneva in June, the Small Body of the Constitutional Committee has not met and there is no clarity on the way forward. It has been three years since the establishment of the Committee. The Committee was expected to build trust and confidence among all three sides through its collaborative action. Clearly, that has not been the case so far.
3. In this regard, we have noted the efforts made by Special Envoy, including his recent meetings in Damascus. We continue to support his ‘step for step’ approach and call on all sides to engage with Special Envoy in a constructive manner.
4. We also believe regional countries, particularly Syria’s Arab neighbours have an important role to play, if we were to see any progress on the political track. Syria’s relations and engagement with its Arab neighbours has improved considerably in the recent times. We hope the upcoming Arab League meeting in Algiers and deliberations will positively contribute to UN facilitated political process.
5. The threat of terrorism in Syria and region cannot be ignored. The sanctioned terror outfits such as ISIL, and Hayat Tahrir Al Sham, have remained active in Syria, evident from attacks across Dayr al-Zawr, Hasakah, eastern rural Homs and Hama. The Al Hasakah prison break incident of January this year, was another example. The global fight against terrorism cannot and should not be compromised for narrow political gains. The international community should also display zero tolerance approach towards terrorism.
6. On the security front, we remain concerned with the overall situation in Syria. There is an urgent need for serious attempts towards comprehensive nationwide ceasefire in Syria. As mentioned by SG in his latest report, Syria does not need more military operations. We believe that withdrawal of all foreign forces is essential toward realizing this objective. We also reiterate our strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.
7. On humanitarian situation, we remain concerned. As we heard from OCHA, 14.6 million people need humanitarian assistance, a 9 per cent increase from last year. Food insecurity has reached historic highs. The economic situation has become dire, thereby aggravating the humanitarian situation further. Low funding levels of the Syrian humanitarian response is a matter of serious concern.
8. We note the importance of humanitarian assistance provided to Syria, under UN mandated mechanism. At the same time, humanitarian assistance cannot be a matter of political expediency. Linking humanitarian and developmental assistance with the progress in the political process will only exacerbate the humanitarian sufferings and should be avoided. The focus should be on early recovery projects and cross-line operations as well.
9. It is clear therefore a decisive forward movement on the political track in Syria remains an urgent imperative to alleviate the sufferings of its people. To realize this, all parties, particularly the external players need to display their commitment, in tangible terms, to a Syrian-led and Syrian-owned UN-facilitated political process in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254.
10. In conclusion, let me underline India’s sustained commitment to extending developmental assistance and human resource development support to Syria. I thank you. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
UNSC Open debate on The Palestine Question, India Statement, New York, 28 October 2022.
Thank you, Mr. President. I thank Special Coordinator Tor Wennesland for his briefing.
2. India welcomes the recent agreement between Israel and Lebanon on delineating their maritime boundary. This is a positive step towards achieving peace and stability in the region. We acknowledge the constructive role of the United States and France in bringing the negotiations to fruition.
3. India has consistently supported peace, stability and prosperity in West Asia, which is our extended neighbourhood. Last month marked two years of Abraham Accords. During the first leaders’ summit of the I2U2 group in July this year, the Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister of Israel, President of the UAE and President of the US agreed to increase joint investment in six key areas of water, energy, transport, space, health and food security. Since then, we are moving forward on projects that aim to bring energy security, food security and economic growth in West and South Asia. In that context, we had also welcomed the full normalization of ties of Israel with UAE, Morocco, Bahrain and Sudan.
4. We hope these regional developments give impetus to the Middle East Peace Process. Accordingly, we encourage Israel and Palestine to take concrete steps to solve the conflict peacefully and to re-engage in meaningful negotiations on all final status issues.
5. The only way to achieve lasting peace is a two-state solution achieved through direct negotiations, taking into account the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians for Statehood and Israel’s legitimate security concerns. We urge the UN and the international community to play an important role in the efforts towards resuming these negotiations. There is no alternative to the two-State solution.
6. Turning to the situation on the ground, we are deeply concerned by the escalation of violence in Israel, the West Bank and Jerusalem. We condemn all acts of violence and attacks against civilians, including acts of terror, provocation, incitement and demolition. Violence begets violence, and we urge both sides to break the current cycle of violence before it spirals out of control.
7. I will conclude by reaffirming India’s unwavering commitment to establishing of an independent, viable and democratic State of Palestine, taking into account Israel’s legitimate security needs. India remains convinced that to achieve long-lasting peace and stability in the region, there needs to be a just, sustainable and comprehensive solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
I thank you. Source: Permanent Mission of India to the UN.
OIC reaffirms its full solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in the realization of their right to self-determination, Jeddah, 26 October 2022.
As 27 October 2022 marks the completion of 75 years of the occupation of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) reiterates its full solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their quest for the right to self-determination.
On this occasion, the General Secretariat, pursuant to the decisions and resolutions of the Islamic Summit and OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, urges India to halt and reverse the illegal and unilateral actions taken on 5 August 2019 and subsequent steps to change the internationally recognized disputed status of the territory and to alter the demographic structure of the occupied territory. The General Secretariat demands the respect for the basic human rights of the inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir.
The General Secretariat reiterates its call on the international community to step up its efforts to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. 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
Ankita Sanyal is a doctoral candidate at Centre for West Asian Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She worked as a summer intern at National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi in 2014 and participated in Global Initiative for Academic Networks, lecture on “Jerusalem and Abrahamic Faiths throughout the Ages” (November 2016); ICSSR-sponsored workshop on “Research Methodology Workshop in Social Sciences” (February 2019); and workshop on “Second Intensive Course on Women’s Studies in Islam and Iran” at the University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran (August 2019). She currently has many publications and has presented papers in national and international conferences. She received certificate on completion of Level Two Persian Language course. Her area of interest includes minority studies, gender studies, cultural studies, education, peace and conflict studies.
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BILATERAL ISSUES ALGERIA Visit of Foreign Minister of Algeria to India (January 30-February 01.....
ALGERIA Cabinet approves Agreement between India and Algeria on Cooperation in the field of Space.....
BILATERAL ISSUES IRAQ Jaipur Foot Camp in Karbala, Karbala, 21 November 2018 A 40-day Artif.....
BILATERAL ISSUES KUWAIT Visit of External Affairs Minister to State of Qatar and State of Kuwa.....
BILATERAL ISSUES EGYPT Cabinet approves MoU between India and Egypt on cooperation in the fiel.....
BILATERAL ISSUES BAHRAIN Question No. 3566, Unpaid Workers in Bahrain, Lok Sabha, New Delhi, 0.....
BILATERAL ISSUES BAHRAIN Visit of External Affairs Minister to Manama, Bahrain (July 14-15, 20.....
BILATERAL ISSUES BAHRAIN Cabinet approves MoU between India and Bahrain on cooperation in the .....
BILATERAL ISSUES IRAN External Affairs Minister’s meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister,.....
BILATERAL ISSUES IRAN Cabinet approves MoU between India and Iran on the establishment of an e.....
(Monthly Digest of Official Indian Statements on Middle East) BILATERAL ISSUES EGYPT Mr. Sa.....
(Monthly Digest of Official Indian Statements on Middle East) &nb.....
(Monthly Digest of Official Indian Statements on Middle East) BILATERAL ISSUES IRAN Launch .....
(Monthly Digest of Official Indian Statements on Middle East) BILATERAL ISSUES &.....
BILATERAL ISSUES a. EGYPT 1. H.E. Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Minister of State for Youth.....
BILATERAL ISSUES a. IRAQ 1. India’s position on the Referendum held in the Kurdistan Reg.....
BILATERAL ISSUES IRAN 1. 6th Meeting of Joint Committee on Ports and Maritime Cooperation.....