Manama, Aug.24 (BNA): His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has received today in Gudaibiya Palace, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived on a two-day visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
HM the King then held a meeting with Prime Minister Modi, during which the two sides reviewed deep-rooted historic relations of friendship binding the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Republic of India.
They also highlighted aspects of joint cooperation in the investment, economic, commercial, health, scientific and technological sectors, in adding to the sector of energy.
The two sides hailed steadily-growing bilateral relations, stressing resolve to pursue efforts to expand joint cooperation in vital sectors, benefit from expertise and investment opportunities and potential in both countries as part of their common strategic interests.
HM the King hailed the memorandum of understanding on the program of cultural exchange, to strengthen the deep-rooted cultural relations, the declaration of intent in the field of space technology on the application of a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, and a declaration of intent on the Kingdom of Bahrain's accession to the International Solar Coalition, and a memorandum of understanding between The National Electronic Payments Network (BENEFIT) and the Indian National Payments Corporation (NPCI) to discuss cooperation and link payment systems to facilitate payments between the two countries.
HM the King and the Indian Premier discussed regional and international issues of mutual concern, stressing both countries’ support to regional and global efforts aimed to bolster the pillars of security and stability in the region and the world. They underscored the importance of consolidating the values and principles of tolerance, human coexistence and peace between all peoples and fostering dialogue and the renunciation of violence and extremism.
HM the King then delivered the following keynote speech on the occasion of the visit of His Excellency Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
“In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Your Excellency the Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic India,
Your Highnesses and Excellencies,
It is a pleasure at the outset to welcome you to the Kingdom of Bahrain, and to extend our appreciation for this kind visit, in light of our close and friendly ties with India which date back some seven thousand years of relations between our peoples, through civilisational and cultural interactions and commercial cooperation. We express our pride in the civilisational commonalities and ancient heritage between our countries, and their place in the memory of human history.
We underline here our great interest in strengthening our bilateral relations, as two friendly countries working for global peace and prosperity. We recall with much pride our last visit to your friendly country in 2014, and our constructive discussions and consultations which further enhanced our cooperation and resulted in the signing of many agreements that have been put into effect to raise the levels of our joint work in the political, commercial and industrial fields.
As we are brought together on this auspicious occasion, we renew our appreciation for the important and outstanding role of the Indian community in Bahrain, which contributes to enriching our national development process. The establishment of the Hindu temple more than two hundred years ago in Manama, as the oldest in the region, is a clear testament to the depth of the ties that link us together, and the civilised qualities of peaceful co-existence and freedom of belief and religion that have characterized Bahrain throughout its history.
Your Excellency, Honourable Prime Minister,
The Kingdom of Bahrain is fully convinced of the pioneering role of India at the international level, given its strategic weight and appreciated stances on many core issues. We therefore continue to work with you to maintain the security and stability of the region, in particular to protect trade and oil routes, and to strengthen our cooperation in the areas of cybersecurity, space technology, and energy, including its renewable forms.
In conclusion, we reiterate our welcome to you and your delegation, wishing you continued success, good health and happiness, and for the Republic of India and its friendly people further progress and prosperity.
Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you."
HM the King bestowed Bahrain Order – First Class on the Prime Minister of the Republic India in recognition of his efforts to strengthen bilateral relations with the Kingdom of Bahrain.
The Indian Premier then delivered speech, describing the medal conferred by HM the King as an honour to him and to the Republic of India.
“I feel very honoured and fortunate to be awarded the Order. I am equally honoured by Your Majesty’s friendship for me and for my country.
“I humbly accept this prestigious honour on behalf of 1.3 billion. It is an honour for the entire India.
“This is a symbol of the friendly relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and India.
“These relations go back thousands of years and in the 21st century, they are expanding in all areas.
“It is a measure of happiness that in our decisions today, we agreed to add new areas of cooperation and to further strengthen our ties. We aim to make India a five trillion-dollar economy. We would like Bahrain to partner with India more closely for shared progress.
“I am very happy to note that the Indian origin people are the largest foreign community in Bahrain. They are welcome here with open hearts. I thank the leadership of the Kingdom for looking after them and making them feel at home here.
“I consider myself very fortunate to be the first ever Indian Prime Minister to visit this close friend in our neighbourhood.
“I am grateful to the leadership of Bahrain for the generous hospitality for my delegation and me. It would be an honour for me His Majesty in India on a visit.
HM the King hosted a dinner banquet in honour of the Indian Prime Minister and the accompanying delegation.