Mon, 16 Sep 2019

New Delhi [India], Aug 19 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a three-day state visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain from August 23.

Modi will hold talks with Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest, an official release said on Monday.

During the visit, the Prime Minister will receive the Order of Zayed, the highest civilian decoration of the UAE which was conferred on him in April in recognition of his distinguished leadership that gave a big boost to bilateral relations between the two countries.

The award, which is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, acquires special significance as it was awarded to Modi in the birth centenary year of Sheikh Zayed.

India and the UAE have close and multi-faceted relations underpinned by cultural, religious and economic linkages which, during the Prime Minister's visit to the UAE in August 2015, stood elevated to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Modi last visited the UAE in February 2018 as the Chief Guest at the World Government Summit, while the Crown Prince came to India in February 2016 and then again in January 2017 as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

With a robust flow of bilateral investments and an annual bilateral trade of about USD 60 billion, the UAE is India's third-largest trade partner. It is also the fourth-largest exporter of crude oil for India.

A 3.3 million-strong Indian community in the UAE nourishes the vibrant people-to-people contacts between the two countries. The visit would further strengthen India's friendly bilateral ties with the UAE.

From the UAE, Modi will leave for Bahrain on August 24 for what would be the first-ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to the country. He will meet Bahrain's Prime Minister, Prince Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and discuss the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.

The King of Bahrain, Shaikh Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, will be hosting a banquet dinner in honour of Modi. The Indian Prime Minister would also launch the renovation of Shreenathji (Shree Krishna) temple in Manama.

India enjoys close and friendly relations with Bahrain rooted in ancient trade and cultural links and people-to-people contacts. The ties have been strengthed through high-level visits between the two countries.

India-Bahrain bilateral trade has been on the rise for the last few years, reaching about USD 1.3 billion in 2018-19. About 3,50,000 Indian nationals, the largest expatriate community in Bahrain, have been contributing to the development of Bahrain.

The presence of over 3,000 Indian-owned/joint ventures in Bahrain indicates the intense economic engagement between the two countries. The visit will provide an opportunity to further cement India's mutually beneficial bilateral ties with Bahrain. (ANI)

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