First ever India-Arab League ministerial meeting in Bahrain
NEW DELHI, Jan 23: Exterl Affairs Sushma Swaraj on Saturday left for Bahrain to attend the first ministerial meeting between India and the Arab League on Sunday.
“This will be the first ever ministerial meeting between India and the League of Arab States Foreign Ministers,” exterl affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted.
The Arab League comprises 22 countries in West Asia and northern Africa.
The Arab countries combined together are India’s biggest trading partner with total trade of over $180 billion.
The relationship between India and the Arab countries has already been taken to the next level called India-Arab Partnership Conference, four meetings of which have already been held with New Delhi hosting the last one in 2014.
The next conference is scheduled to be held in Oman in May this year.
Emerging areas of cooperation between India and the Arab countries include agriculture, dry land farming, environment protection, information and communication technology (ICT), automobiles, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), biotechnology and space. Sixty percent of India’s oil and gas comes from West Asia which is an important pillar of the country’s energy security.
The Maghreb region provides phosphates and fertilisers for India’s agricultural sector. (ians)