Bahrain king praises Indian expatriates

Manama : Bahrain’s King Hamad has lauded the Indian expatriate community for its contribution in pushing forward the island nation’s development.

King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa made the remarks Saturday during the two-day visit by India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to attend a forum meeting held here on investment opportunities in India, the Gulf Daily News reported Sunday.

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“The Indian migrants are welcomed and appreciated by all in Bahrain,” the report quoted King Hamad as saying.

Bahrain is home to around 290,000 expatriate Indians.

The king also praised Bahrain’s historic links with India.

Citing his successful visit to India in February, King Hamad stressed the importance of high-level official contacts, which strengthen political, economic and trade relations between the two countries.

He also hailed the steadily-growing relations between the two nations which, he said, were based on mutual respect and joint coordination.

On Saturday, addressing around 400 delegates comprising overseas Indians as well as business and industry leaders from Bahrain at the Diaspora Engagement Meet here, Sushma Swaraj stressed the need to make overseas Indians a part of this development agenda.

This was the first visit by the Indian external affairs minister to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region after taking over office in May.