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Shri Rudra Gaurav Shresth appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Islamic Republic of Iran, 22 March 2023

Shri Rudra Gaurav Shresth (IFS: 1999) has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to the Islamic Republic of Iran.

2. He is expected to take up the assignment shortly. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, India.  


Raksha Mantri holds telephonic conversation with his Israeli counterpart; Highlights Government’s priority for indigenous defence manufacturing under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’, 3 March 2023

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh held a telephonic conversation with Defence Minister of Israel Mr Yoav Gallant on March 03, 2023. It was the first talk between the two Ministers. The Raksha Mantri congratulated Mr Gallant on his appointment as the Defence Minister of Israel.

Shri Rajnath Singh underlined the Government’s priority for indigenisation and domestic manufacturing of defence equipment under ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. He acknowledged the cooperation of Israeli industries towards nurturing a vibrant & world class defence manufacturing ecosystem in India and invited Israeli Industries to deepen their investments in Joint Ventures with Indian companies with an aim to identify areas for collaboration, particularly in niche technologies. He expressed pleasure at the signing of some important MoUs between Indian and Israeli companies during the recently concluded Aero India 2023.

The Defence Minister of Israel highlighted the positive role played by India in the region and conveyed his Government’s keen interest in enhancing the strategic partnership between the two countries. Both Ministers affirmed their commitment to further deepening of bilateral defence relationship under the framework of ‘Vision Statement’ adopted last year. Source: Press Information Bureau.

PM thanks Benjamin Netanyahu for Holi greetings, 8 March 2023

Replying to the Holi greetings of the Prime Minister of Israel H.E. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi tweeted :

"Thank you my friend, PM @netanyahu for your special Holi wishes. People all over India mark this festival with great vibrancy.

I also wish you and the people of Israel a happy Purim. Chag Sameach!" Source: Press Information Bureau.

Parliamentary Delegation from Israel calls on the President, 31 March 2023

A Parliamentary Delegation from Israel, led by the Speaker of Knesset, H.E. Mr Amir Ohana called on President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan today (March 31, 2023).

Welcoming the delegation, the President said that over the last 30 years, the diplomatic relations between the two countries have grown into a multidimensional strategic partnership.

The President noted that throughout their long history, the Jewish communities in India have maintained, and enriched their unique heritage and traditions. She said that the Jewish people have been - and will always be - an integral part of India’s composite society.

The President said that in India, Israel is well known as a key source of expertise in advanced agriculture and water technologies. Our collaboration in research and innovation has also boosted the ‘Make in India’ initiative. She was happy to note the success of ‘Centres of Excellence’ set up with Israeli assistance across India. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, India.



Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi virtually inaugurates Festival of India in Kuwait on 17th March, 20 March 2023

The inaugural event of “Festival of India” in the state of Kuwait on 17 March 2023 was virtually inaugurated by  Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Smt. Meenakashi Lekhi. Addressing the gathering, she highlighted the strong historical relationship between India and Kuwait and also appreciated the ongoing cultural exchange between India and Kuwait. She emphasized that the Festival of India in Kuwait will strengthen the vibrant cultural ties between the two countries.

The highlight of the Festival was the performance by renowned Indian cultural troupes sent by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The three troupes who performed at the Festival were; (i) Qutbi Brothers – Qawwali performance, (ii) Hasan Khan and Group -  Rajasthani Folk, and (iii) The Anirudh Varma Collective – Fusion of Indian classical and contemporary music. The troupes presented a picture of India’s syncretic civilization with their performances drawn from diverse regions, cultures and religions of India.

Festival of India was organized in the State of Kuwait from 17-18 March 2023 by the Embassy of India, Kuwait under the aegis of Ministry of Culture, Government of India. This was the first Festival of India abroad held by the Ministry of Culture following the Covid-19 Pandemic. The festival was supported by the Ministry of Information and Culture, Government of State of Kuwait and National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL), the Government of State of Kuwait. The Finale event was organized at the Dar Al Athar Islamiya (DAI), Yarmouk Cultural Centre on 18 March 2023. The event was well attended by Kuwaiti friends and Indian community.

Alongside the cultural performances, the Embassy of India, Kuwait organized ‘Incredible India – Tourism Exhibition’ and the Indian Coffee tasting event for the Kuwaiti friends and diplomatic community on 18 March 2023. Source: Press Information Bureau.


Visit of Minister of State for External Affairs, Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh to Doha, Qatar (March 06-07, 2023), 4 March 2023

Minister of State for External Affairs and Education, Dr. Rajkumar Ranjan Singh will be visiting Doha, Qatar from 06-07 March 2023 to attend the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries(LDC5). LDC5 is a decennial conference focusing on renewed partnerships for the development of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

On 06 March 2023, MOS will deliver India’s National Statement and will be a panellist in the Round Table titled "Leveraging the power of Science and Technology and innovation for the sustainable development of LDCs”. MOS is also participating in the Ministerial Meeting of South-South Cooperation on the topic, "Renewed Partnerships for actionable solutions in support of implementation of the Doha Programme of Action” on 07 March 2023.

On the sidelines of LDC5, MOS will have several bilateral engagements with his counterparts, especially from LDCs and will host a working lunch for partner countries from Africa and interact with the Indian diaspora. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, India.


Secretary (CPV & OIA)’s consultations in Saudi Arabia, 22 March 2023

During his visit to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Secretary (CPV & OIA) Dr. Ausaf Sayeed has held the 1st India-GCC Senior Officials Meeting and various bilateral meetings with Saudi dignitaries.

Secretary (CPV & OIA) held consultations with Saudi Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eng. Waleed bin Abdul Kareem El-Khereiji on 20 March 2023 on the Political-Security-Social-Cultural pillar of India-Saudi Arabia Strategic Partnership Council (SPC). They positively assessed the continued high-level contacts between both countries. EAM and Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister had earlier reviewed bilateral relations on the sidelines of G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 03 March.

On 21 March, Secretary (CPV & OIA) discussed the progress made under the Committee on Economy and Investment of the SPC with Dr. Faisal Al-Sugair, President and CEO, Saudi Centre for International Strategic Partnerships (SCISP). Both sides agreed to make further progress on priority opportunities identified under the Committee including in areas such as renewable energy, grid connectivity, pharmaceuticals, food security, IT, fintech and water resources.

Earlier, on 19 March, Secretary (CPV & OIA) had met Deputy Minister for International Partnerships in Saudi Ministry of Investment, Mr. Mohammad Al Hassnah and discussed opportunities of bilateral investment exchanges. Both sides deliberated on forming an investment bridge for accelerating the pending investment projects and facilitating investors.

Secretary (CPV & OIA) called on the Saudi Minister for Hajj & Umrah, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah on 22 March. He thanked the Saudi Minister for the allocation of a Haj quota of 1,75,025 for India for 2023. He also reiterated an invitation to him to visit India at his earliest convenience. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, India.


Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya M Scindia inaugurates direct flight between Indore and Sharjah, 31 March 2023

Minister of Civil Aviation and Steel, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia along with MoS Ministry of Civil Aviation, Gen. Dr Vijay Kumar Singh (Rtd.) inaugurated a direct flight between Indore and Sharjah today.

This new route will enhance connectivity with the Middle East and promote trade, commerce and tourism in Madhya Pradesh. It will operate three days a week commencing from 31st March 2023 as per the following schedule:  

Flt No.




Dep. time

Arr. time


Eff from




Mon, Fri & Sat



B 737-800

31st March 2023

IX 0256



Mon, Fri & Sat




In his inaugural address, Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia said that after Indore to Dubai, Indore to Sharjah will be Indore’s second air connectivity with UAE. This will not only boost trade and commerce but also connect families living in two different countries.

Speaking on connectivity and infrastructure development, Shri Scindia said that in 2013-14, Indore was connected to only 6 destinations. In the 9 years of PM Modi's government, it has increased to 24 including 2 international destinations which is a 400% growth. Earlier, weekly air traffic movement from Indore was 320 which has now increased to 500 which is a 52% growth.

The Minister further said that in 2014, the state of Madhya Pradesh had air connectivity with only eight cities of the country, but now it is connected to 26 cities which is a 300% growth. The weekly air traffic movement from the state was 500 aircraft; in 9 years it has increased to 840. Madhya Pradesh was given 60 routes under the RCS UDAN scheme, 33 of them are already operational and 12 will be operational soon.  Recently, Reva airport’s foundation was laid- Rs. 50 crores will be invested in its development. In Gwalior, a new integrated terminal building is being developed at a cost of Rs 500 crore. A new integrated terminal building costing around Rs 475 crore is being developed in Jabalpur also.

Shri Aloke Singh, Managing Director of Air India Express, AirAsia India and Captain Manish Uppal, Head of Operations AirAsia India were present during the event. Source: Press Information Bureau.


First India-GCC Senior Officers Meeting (SOM), 20 March 2023

The first round of India-GCC SOM was held on 20 March 2023 in Riyadh. The Indian delegation was led by Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary(CPV&OIA) while the GCC delegation was led by Dr. Abdul Aziz Bin Hamad Al-Owaishaq, Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Negotiations, GCC. The meeting had participation from all the 6 member countries of GCC. The India-GCC SOM meeting was held pursuant to MOU signed on India-GCC Mechanism of Consultation during EAM’s visit to Riyadh in September 2022.

2.​ Both sides conveyed happiness over the progress in trade and investment between India-GCC countries. Both sides agreed for an early finalisation of India-GCC Free Trade Agreement(FTA).

3. Secretary(CPV&OIA) invited for more collaboration between India and GCC countries in renewable energy, food security, health, IT sector and counter terrorism. Both sides proposed formation of Joint Working Groups to cater to particular areas of cooperation between India and GCC countries. These joint working groups would be headed by experts and would ensure regular and continuous progress across priority sectors.

4.​ Both sides appreciated the progress in relations between India-GCC countries built on historical ties, coupled with growing trade and investment, and presence of approximately 8.5 million Indian diaspora in the region. GCC as a trade bloc is the largest trade partner to India with a total trade of USD 154 Billion in FY 2021-22 They agreed that people to people ties need to be further enhanced. The discussion also focused upon regional issues of importance.

5.​ Both sides looked forward for early convention of India-GCC TROIKA meeting at Foreign Minister level. Source: Ministry of External Affairs, India.

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.