India, Bahrain sign 3 pacts, to expand cooperation in key areas

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India and Bahrain today decided to expand their cooperation in key areas, including trade and business, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of the oil-rich nation held wide-ranging talks.

Besides bilateral issues, both Singh and Khalifa deliberated on regional and global developments and issues of mutual concern.

They reviewed the bilateral trade and agreed to boost economic cooperation in diverse sectors. Bahrain has been seeking investments from Indian firms in various sectors.

Indian IT companies like Tata Consultancy Services, Rolta, TechMahindra, 3i Infotech and Aptech already have a presence in Bahrain.

After talks between Singh and Khalifa, both sides inked three pacts to strengthen ties in the fields of economic engagement, sports and to ensure cooperation between Foreign Service Institute of External Affairs Ministry and the Diplomatic Institute of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain.

The MoU for in the fields of youth and sports aims at strengthening bilateral cooperation through institutional exchanges particularly through exchange of youth and sports teams in various disciplines.

The MoU on the Establishment of a "High Joint Commission" for Bilateral Cooperation will replace the existing Joint Committee for Technical and Economic Cooperation established in 1981.

The "High Joint Commission", to be chaired by the Foreign Ministers, will serve as an umbrella framework for all cooperation between the two countries.

Another MoU was signed between the Foreign Service Institute and the Diplomatic Institute of Bahrain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to promote cooperation between the two organisations.

Hamad's father Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa had visited India in 1981. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had visited Bahrain in December. Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed had toured India in October 2009.

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