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India-Bahrain relations in a new phase: Sushma Swaraj

Manama, Sunday, 15 July 2018

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is on a two day visit to Bahrain and will co-chair the second high joint commission meeting with Foreign Minister Khalifa along with other engagements. Source: NDTV


Cabinet approves ICAI’s pacts with NBAA, BIBF

New Delhi, Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The government approved the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India’s pact with Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance. The MoU eyes the working together of both the bodies for strengthening the accounting, financial and audit knowledge base within Bahrain.  Source: The Times of India



India, Iran review bilateral ties, to strengthen connectivity through Chabahar port

New Delhi, Tuesday, 17 July 2018

On Monday India and Iran reviewed bilateral ties and plans to strengthen connectivity through Indian investment in Iran’s Chabahar port besides import of Iranian crude oil in the wake of the US imposing sanctions on Tehran. Source: Livemint


India should help Iran, Saudi Arabia engage in peace process

Bengaluru, Saturday, 21 July 2018

Former Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia and the UAE Talmiz Ahmad says that the central question is not about Iranian oil supplies but whether the world should let what he calls “a rogue US administration” cause so much disruption. He also suggests that India could use its good relations with both Iran and Saudi Arabia to get them to engage in a dialogue and peace process, which would help calm tensions and help resolve many of the region’s problems. Source: Deccan Herald



Oman, India agree to collaborate on space project

Muscat, Sunday, 29 July 2018

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in February has resulted in both identifying space as one of several sectors for collaborate. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communications calls for cooperation in areas such as space applications and technologies, space science, satellite-based navigation, and surveillance, among others. Source: Times of Oman



Why India’s Gulf dream is getting smaller and smaller

New Delhi, Wednesday, 4 July 2018

The number of emigration clearances granted to Indians headed to the Gulf for employment has halved to 3.7 lakh in 2017 from 7.6 lakh in 2015. The reason for a greater influx of Indian workers into UAE is the relaxation of its migration policies for professionals. Saudi Arabia lost its charm due to the imposition of the family tax, wherein an expat worker has to pay a levy of Saudi Arabian Riyal 100 per month per dependent, which will double every year. Source: The Times of India


Naqvi hails 2018 Haj as ‘landmark’ pilgrimage, first batch of pilgrims reaches Saudi Arabia
New Delhi, Sunday, 15 July 2018

This year’s Haj would be a “landmark” pilgrimage for Indians as several reforms such as doing away with subsidy and women going without a male guardian are associated with it, observed Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi. Source: The Times of India


More Indian tourists expected to visit Turkey this year: Ambassador

Nevsehir, Thursday, 19 July 2018

An Indian festival planned in Turkey is expected to attract more Indian tourists to Turkey, the Indian ambassador. Speaking to state-run Anadolu Agency in the Central Anatolian province of Nev┼čehir, Sanjay Bhattacharyya said: “We are hoping to add another dimension to help [improve] tourism and cultural contacts (with Turkey).” Source: Hurriyet Daily News


Had ‘wonderful’ meeting with Turkish President Erdogan: PM Narendra Modi

Johannesburg, Friday, 27 July 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said he had a “wonderful” meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the side lines of the BRICS Summit here during which multiple areas of India-Turkey cooperation were discussed. Source: Financial Express


Top of Form


India, UAE to work closely in Africa; UAE seeks India’s support on Yemen situation

New Delhi, Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Expanding on the upward trajectory of bilateral relations, India and the UAE have decided to hold a Joint Commission meeting in Abu Dhabi while agreeing to cooperate in select countries in Africa. The UAE has also sought India’s support in exerting international pressure to sort out the Yemen issue in line with the UN resolution. Source: The Tribune


UAE hands over India’s most wanted terrorist to Pakistan

New Delhi, Friday, 13 July 2018

Indian agencies have suffered a major setback as authorities in UAE have handed over one of the most wanted Indian terror suspect and mastermind to Pakistan. According to sources, one of India's most wanted terrorists Farukh Devdiwala was recently nabbed in Dubai but handed over to Pakistan. Devdiwala was accused of conspiracy in the murder of late Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya and various other cases. Source: India Today


UAE announces annual visa fee waiver for minors

New Delhi, Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Taking a family vacation in Dubai or Abu Dhabi between July 15 and September 15 will now be cheaper. The UAE government has decided that minor children accompanying their parents during these months will not have to pay tourist visa fees. The latest move comes less than a month after UAE decided to grant free transit visas for first 48 hours to transit passengers and this visas can be extended for up to 96 hours by paying 50 Dirham. Source: Times of India




Bahrain welcomes Indian start-ups and venture capitalists

Friday, 27 July 2018

Bahrain is welcoming start-ups and venture capitalists (VC) from India to access its start-up ecosystem, said John Kilmartin, Executive Director, ICT at EDB (Economic Development Board) Bahrain. Bahrain Development Bank launched the Al Waha Venture Capital Fund of Funds in May to support the start-up ecosystem and enable additional funding to growing companies. Source:



What is India-Iran oil trade all about?

New Delhi, Sunday, 7 July 2018

Iran has always been one of India’s main suppliers of oil, second only to Iraq and Saudi Arabia, with exports that totalled more than 27 million tonnes last year. The figures make India Iran’s biggest buyer after China, and as a result, a target for the US which has declared a campaign to “isolate Iran” after the Trump administration withdrew from the nuclear deal. For India, which has been told along with other buyers to take oil imports to “zero” by the cut-off date of November 4, its decisions on procuring Iran oil this point onwards is not so much about securing energy as it is about securing India’s standing in the world. Source: The Hindu



Kuwait to pay 710 unpaid Indian workers of construction firm who quit after labour dispute

Dubai, Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Around 710 out of 3,600 unpaid Indian workers, who left Kuwait between November 2017 and April 2018 after being stranded there for months, will receive a compensation of KD 250 (around Rs 56,000), a senior Indian embassy official said. Working for Kharafi National Company, the workers left the country after the construction company ran into financial trouble. The 710 workers will have to courier a power of attorney, which is available on the Indian Embassy Kuwait website, along with the bank details. Source: Hindustan Times



India seeks investments from Oman

New Delhi, Monday, 16 July 2018

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu highlighted steps taken by the government to promote an investment-friendly environment to attract investments from Oman, an official release said. During the India-Oman Joint Commission Meeting, the minister invited Omani companies to build on their success and make investments to benefit from ‘Make in India’ which are aimed to encourage manufacturing. Source: The Times of India 


India asks Oman to cut customs duties on chemical products

Muscat, Tuesday, 17 July 2018

India has asked Oman to cut customs duties on chemical products like dyes to provide greater market access for its goods in that country, the commerce ministry said today.  Source: The Times of India



UAE commits $75bn towards infra development in India: Commerce Ministry

New Delhi, Friday, 27 July 2018

With increasing economic ties with India, the UAE has committed US$75 billion towards infrastructure development in the country, the commerce ministry said today. It also said that the UAE is India's third largest trading partner. Source: Economic Times


UAE and India sign agreement on Artificial Intelligence

Dubai, Saturday, 28 July 2018

The UAE and India on Saturday signed an agreement to spur discussion and explore options for both countries to grow their artificial intelligence economies. Source: Gulf News

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