November 26, 2020: In his maiden visit, India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar thanked HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain for taking the ‘personal care’ of Indian Community. Dr. S. Jaishankar visited the Kingdom of Bahrain from November 24 to November 25. He held talks with his counterpart H.E. Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Foreign Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain. He also called upon HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain and HH Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain.
“Appreciated his warm sentiments towards India, his personal care for the Indian community in Bahrain and his insights on international politics. Confident that under his leadership, our partnership will further strengthen,” tweeted Dr. S. Jaishankar after meeting with HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Bahrain has a community of more than 300,000 Indians amounting to almost one third of the population of Bahrain. Bahrain had launched the ‘Little India in Bahrain’ project in November 2015, acknowledging the contribution of Indian community to the history and progress of Bahrain. The 200 years old Shreenathji (Shree Krishna) temple in Manama, which Dr. Jaishankar visited, is an important marker of historical ties between India and Bahrain.
In his meeting with Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Dr Jaishankar and Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani discussed bilateral issues as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest, including cooperation and coordination in dealing with post-Covid challenges. Both countries agreed to further strengthen the historic India-Bahrain ties including in areas of defence and maritime security, space technology, trade and investment, infrastructure, IT, FinTech, health, hydrocarbon and renewable energy.
Dr Jaishankar conveyed condolences on the sad demise of HRH Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain. He also renewed invitation to Bahrain’s Foreign Minister for visiting India for the 3rd India-Bahrain High Joint Commission meeting in the next few months.
Bahrain and India have historic relations going back to around 5000 years. The bilateral and commercial exchanges have been traced back to Dilmun Civilization in Bahrain and the Indus Valley Civilization in India. After Bahrain gained independence in 1971, India established an Embassy in Bahrain in January 1973.. Since then, the relation between both countries have flourished, including high level visits of leaders of both countries. In 2019, Mr Narendra Modi became the first Prime Minister of India to visit Bahrain.