India, Bahrain to sign pact on internal security

India and Bahrain will soon sign an agreement on internal security and launch talks on defence pact amid keenness of the two countries to enhance ties in various areas, including counter-terrorism.

New Delhi: India and Bahrain will soon sign an agreement on internal security and launch talks on defence pact amid keenness of the two countries to enhance ties in various areas, including counter-terrorism.

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, conveyed his country's commitment to deepen ties with India in counter-terrorism, security and defence.

The two sides discussed various issues in detail during a meeting of the Joint Commission co-chaired by Al Khalifa and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday.

During that meeting, the two leaders agreed on early inking of the negotiated MOU on Internal Security cooperation as also launch of talks on a pact on defence cooperation, according to a Joint Statement issued here today.

During the meeting with Modi, the visiting minister also expressed desire to step up trade and investment between the two countries, a PMO statement said.

Recalling the "deep emotional bonds of friendship that are felt by the people of Bahrain towards India", the Minister "conveyed the commitment of the government of Bahrain to deepen bilateral relations, including in the areas of defence, security, counter-terrorism, trade and investment," it added.

During the first meeting of the High Joint Commission, the issue of terror was on the top of the agenda, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said.

Al Khalifa also extended a letter of invitation from his country's Prime Minister to Modi to visit Bahrain.

Modi recalled the visit of the King of Bahrain to India in February 2014 that had provided new vigour and momentum to the bilateral relationship.

He appreciated the continuous support and cooperation being extended by the government of Bahrain to over four lakh members of the Indian community in Bahrain.

The Joint Statement said the Bahraini side requested for resumption of negotiations on an agreement on avoidance of double taxation as it was initialed between the two governments in 1998.

Welcoming the holding of the meeting at the level of Foreign Ministers, the statement said it reflected accurately the depth and strength of bilateral ties.

"Wide-ranging discussions were held in a sincere, friendly and forward-looking atmosphere with useful exchange of views on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest," the joint statement added.  

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