Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, participated remotely today in a joint ministerial meeting between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Republic of India, which was held on the sidelines of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly. The meeting was chaired by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, Dr. Anwar Gergash and, the Minister of State for External Affairs of the Republic of India, Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in the presence of the GCC Secretary General, Dr. Nayef bin Falah Al Hajraf.
During the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed appreciation for this annual ministerial meeting between the GCC and the Republic of India, which was held this year virtually in light of the unprecedented international situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. He stressed the importance of international cooperation and partnership in handling the pandemic. He also praised the Indian government for its significant efforts to find an effective vaccine to eliminate the virus.
The minister emphasised the kingdom’s keenness on protecting people’s health and welfare, including the Indian community. He also noted that Bahrain has rolled out a comprehensive programme of testing, tracing, and treating, including high-quality healthcare provision as well as a free meal programme for those in need, and ensuring that the Kingdom’s expatriate workers’ accommodation meets the necessary social distancing and health requirements. He pointed out that all of this is on top of an economic support package to ensure that businesses and employees are protected and can bounce back as the world begins the process of recovery from the pandemic.
The Foreign Minister extended sincere thanks and appreciation to the Minister of State for External Affairs of India for India’s statement, hailing the signing of the Abraham Accords between the UAE, Bahrain and Israel in September. He expressed hope that this initiative will serve as an essential step towards a full comprehensive peace in the region. He added it is now even more essential to work towards peace through direct negotiation between Palestinians and Israelis to achieve a just and viable two-state solution, welcoming India’s important support for this process.
The minister highlighted that in order to achieve real comprehensive peace in the Middle East, the region needs political solutions to the situations in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, and Iraq. He added the efforts must also be harnessed to confront extremist ideologies, counter terrorism, disarm all militias and ensure that arms are under the control of the legitimate governments. He affirmed that it is imperative for all countries in the region to direct all efforts towards peace.
The meeting also spotlighted historical friendship and cooperation between the GCC member states and India and ways to develop them for the benefit of both sides. Discussions also focused on a number of regional and international issues of common concern.
Source: Bahrain News Agency