India and Bahrain on Wednesday agreed to strengthen bilateral defence and security cooperation, including through regular consultations in maritime security, combating piracy and counter-terrorism. This was decided at a meeting of the India-Bahrain high joint commission that was co-chaired in New Delhi by external affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.
“Both sides recognised that the bilateral security dialogue has helped institutionalise cooperation in the area of intelligence-sharing as well as in identifying new areas for security cooperation, including cyber security,” said a joint statement issued after the meeting.
“They agreed to further strengthen bilateral defence and security cooperation including through regular consultations in the areas of maritime security, combating piracy and counter-terrorism,” it added.
The two sides reiterated their condemnation of all forms of terrorism and “called on all states to reject and abandon the use of terrorism against other countries”.
The Bahraini side expressed interest in setting up pharmaceutical and vaccine production units with Indian collaboration, and the Indian side agreed to facilitate dialogue on this issue between relevant stakeholders, according to the joint statement.
The Indian side also made a request for greater acceptance and market access for Indian pharmaceutical products in the Bahraini market.
Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in healthcare in July 2018, both sides have held talks to identify suitable areas for collaboration such as health services, medical and clinical research, social health insurance, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
As a follow-up to a MoU on space cooperation signed in March 2019 and a statement of intent for space cooperation signed in August 2019, both sides have held discussions for collaboration between the NewSpace India Limited (NSIL) and Bahrain’s National Space Science Agency, including building and launching a nano-satellite, establishing a ground station and providing assistance in capacity building to Bahrain.
The Indian side thanked the government of Bahrain for the safety, security and welfare of the Indian community, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. It expressed its appreciation to the Bahraini side for facilitating repatriation flights and for providing free Covid-19 vaccination to all, including the Indian community.
The Bahraini side appreciated India’s role in keeping open supply chains for essential items, including food and medicines, amid the pandemic, and in gifting 100,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
Bahrain is home to some 3,50,000 Indians, the largest expatriate community, and New Delhi had facilitated the travel of Indian medical professionals to Manama last year to cope with the pandemic.
SOURCE : HT