Bahrain King pays homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat

New Delhi, Feb.19: Bahrain King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa on Wednesday paid homage at Rajghat, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial, here.

Al Khalifa laid the wreath at the memorial and paid tribute to Mahatma Gandhi along with Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Bahrain King met President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and was accorded a ceremonial reception in the forecourt of the ornate sand stone presidential palace.

Bahrain King had arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday evening for three-day official state visit.

A number of agreements and memoranda of understanding will be signed by the heads of the two nations to solidify historic economic, political, cultural and mercantile bilateral cooperation as well as hold talks between the two friendly countries on current and latest regional and international developments of mutual interest.

Bahrain’s King along with delegates also met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to boost international relations between the two nations.

Bahrain is part of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) where India has as many as seven million Indian residents.

GCC is a political and economic union of Arab states bordering the Persian Gulf, namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

India and Bahrain have close and friendly relations, characterised by shared interests, mutual trust and unique people-to-people contacts. Bahrain is an important trading partner for India with our non-oil bilateral trade in 2012-13 exceeding US$ 1.3 billion.

Over 350,000 Indian nationals work and contribute to the development of Bahrain. Their positive and well-appreciated contribution in the development of Bahrain has been an important pillar of our excellent bilateral engagement. The visit is expected to provide fresh impetus to our bilateral ties.

India has vital stakes in the Gulf and the Middle East region which hosts around 7 million Indians. The region is the source of roughly two-third of India’s crude oil requirements and is the largest trading region for us accounting for over 26% of our global trade. (ANI)