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MENAFN - Arab News - 08/12/2013

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(MENAFN - Arab News) Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid is in Manama, Bahrain where he led a conference of Indian heads of mission from the Gulf region on Saturday.
Sibi George, Charge d'Affairs at the Embassy of India in Riyadh told Arab News that Indian ambassador to the Kingdom, Hamid Ali Rao had arrived in Manama to participate in the conference.
He informed that an international conference for Indian heads of mission had been held in Delhi recently and that the conference in Manama was especially targeted at Indian diplomats based in the Gulf countries.
Khurshid was in Bahrain on a three-day visit starting Friday to bolster ties with the Gulf country where he also attended the 'Manama Dialogue'.
The Manama dialogue is a three-day inter-governmental summit, where national security leaders from the Gulf countries, North America, Europe and Asia can consult bilaterally and multilaterally on key security and foreign policy challenges.
Now in its ninth year, the Manama Dialogue has proven to be a key pillar in the evolving Gulf security architecture.
Khurshid will also address a special session of the annual Manama Dialogue on Sunday, sources said. Indian embassy sources said the summit will boost ties with Bahrain, which is an important trading partner for India.
As the region hosts around 7 million Indians, security and stability in the Gulf is crucial to India because of the growth in multilateral ties.
The Gulf region is also the source of roughly two-thirds of India's crude oil requirements and accounts for about 30 percent of its global trade.
Sources said that Khurshid will also lay the foundation stone of the new Indian Chancery premises in Bahrain.
The visit comes at a time when the bilateral trade relations between India and Bahrain are witnessing an upward trend. The non-oil bilateral trade between the two countries exceeded 1.3 billion during the last fiscal year.


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