India, Kuwait agree to `broaden and deepen` mutual engagement
New Delhi: India and oil-rich Kuwait have decided to deepen their engagement in diverse sectors like energy security, petrochemicals, infrastructure development and information technology even as the two nations condemned terrorism in all "shapes and forms".
A joint statement issued today said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Jaber Al- Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah have agreed to build a forward- looking relationship by further "broadening and deepening" their mutual engagement in a range of key areas.
It said the "two Prime Ministers condemned terrorism in all shapes and forms and affirmed that it threatened all societies and was not linked to any race, colour or belief".
Singh and Sheikh Jaber had yesterday held extensive deliberations on a range of topics like cooperation in energy and the investments sector, and labour laws, following which the two sides inked five pacts.
"The two Prime Ministers agreed to build a forward-looking relationship by further broadening and deepening the bilateral engagement and by better leveraging the existing complementarities between the two countries in key areas of mutual interest," the joint statement said.
It said the two sides discussed several regional and international issues, including the security situation in West and South Asia and agreed to hold regular exchange of views on various regional and international issues.
The two Prime Ministers decided that the next meeting of the Joint Ministerial Commission will take place in Kuwait by the first quarter of 2014 with future meets to be held regularly.
On security cooperation, it said "the need for enhancing cooperation in this important sector was stressed and it was agreed that the security dialogue will take place annually between the two countries."
The two sides discussed their respective expansion plans in the oil sector. The joint statement said the Indian side briefed the Kuwaiti side about the capabilities and competencies of Indian companies in executing large refinery and upstream projects.
"It was agreed that an Indian business delegation comprising companies with expertise in oil sector projects will visit Kuwait to discuss business opportunities in this sector with Kuwaiti companies," it said.
The Indian side proposed a long-term agreement (10 years) to meet the increased crude oil demand in the new refineries. The Kuwaiti side assured it would study the Indian demands.
"The Indian side requested better terms, including abolition of LC and increase in interest free credit period up to 60 days. The Kuwaiti side agreed to consider (these requests) favourably," it said. In trade, too, both sides decided to expand cooperation.
"Taking note of the excellent bilateral trade relations, with the two countries being among the top trading partners for each other, the two sides agreed upon the need to further strengthen these ties, particularly through diversifying the non-oil trade basket," it said.
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