Embarking on a three-nation tour to Palestine, UAE and Oman, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said Indian diaspora was a "bridge of friendship" between India and Gulf states.
“The Indian diaspora is a bridge of friendship between India and the Gulf states. They are also active participants in the prosperity and progress of their host countries,” asserted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while going on a three-nation tour of Palestine, United Arab Emirates and Oman. Modi is scheduled to start his visit to the Middle East countries from today till February 12.
“I look forward to strengthening India’s growing and important ties with West Asia and the Gulf region through the visit,” said Modi in a Facebook post.
Terming Gulf and the West Asian region as a priority for India, Modi said, “I am happy to visit the Gulf and West Asian region for the fifth time since 2015. This region is a key priority in our external engagement. We enjoy vibrant multi-dimensional ties with the countries here.”
Giving details about his itinerary, Modi said, “The visit will begin from Palestine, on February 10 after transiting through Jordan. I am grateful to His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan for facilitating the transit. I look forward to meeting him in Amman on February 9.
Showing solidarity with the people of Palestine, he said, “This will be the first ever Prime Ministerial visit to Palestine from India. I am looking forward to my discussions with President Mahmoud Abbas and reaffirming our support for the Palestinian people and the development of Palestine.”
Modi said he will visit the UAE from February 10-11. He will reach UAE on Saturday evening from Palestine.
Describing the UAE as a ‘valued strategic partner’, Modi said that India has fast-tracked cooperation with this Gulf country in all major spheres, including economy, energy, high technology and security.
“I will be discussing our progress in these areas and more in my meetings with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi,” said Modi.
Modi will also be addressing the 6th edition of the World Government Summit in Dubai, where India is the guest country.
The Prime Minister will be engaging with leading UAE and Arab CEOs in Dubai on the vast economic opportunities in India and what more can be done to bolster business collaboration.
Noting that Oman was a close maritime neighbour with whom India enjoys excellent relations, Modi said in the last leg of his trip from February 11-12, he will visit the country for the first time as prime minister.
“India and Oman have thriving links rooted in centuries old people-to-people exchanges,” said Modi.
“On the evening of February 11, I will be meeting His Majesty the Sultan of Oman. I will also meet Deputy Prime Minister for the Council of Ministers HH Sayyid Fahd bin Mahmoud Al Said and Deputy Prime Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Affairs HH Sayyid Asa'ad bin Tariq Al Said. We will review bilateral cooperation and steps to further enhance our traditionally strong links,” he added.
“I shall also interact with leading businesspersons of Oman on developing stronger economic and business links with India," the prime minister said.
The prime minister said that on the final day of his visit on February 12, he would interact with leading businesspersons of Oman on developing stronger economic and business links with India.
Modi will also address the Indian diaspora in both UAE and Oman.
“In both Oman and the UAE, I will have the opportunity to meet the large Indian diasporas that have made those countries their home,” he said.
More than nine million Indians work and live in the Gulf region, of which about one third live in the UAE alone. In Oman, they constitute the largest expatriate community, he said.