New Delhi [India], April 7 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani co-chaired the third India-Bahrain High Joint Commission (HJC) on Wednesday, wherein Manama expressed interest in setting up pharmaceutical and vaccine production units in Bahrain in collaboration with New Delhi.
According to a statement, the Indian side welcomed Bahrain's keen interest and agreed to facilitate dialogue between relevant stakeholders. It also requested Bahrain for greater acceptance and market access for Indian pharmaceutical products in the Bahraini market.
The Indian side also proposed that products related to the traditional Indian health systems be given official recognition in the Bahraini market.
Both sides also stressed the importance of holding early meetings of other existing bilateral mechanisms including Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs), Joint Working Group (JWG) in the health sector, Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on manpower and development and a Joint Steering Committee (JSC) in the field of combating international terrorism.
It was agreed that the fifth FOC should be held in New Delhi at a mutually convenient date to follow up on the decisions of the HJC, the statement read.
Furthermore, the Indian side also thanked the leadership and Bahraini government for ensuring the safety, security and welfare of the Indian community during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also expressed appreciation to the Bahraini side for its facilitation of repatriation flights under Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) and for providing free Covid vaccination to all, including the Indian community in Bahrain.
In return, the Bahraini side appreciated India for keeping open the supply chains to Bahrain of essential items, including food and medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic and for gifting 100,000 doses of India-made coronavirus vaccines.
Both sides agreed to further develop their cooperation in the areas of oil and gas, trade and investment, health, food security, defence, security, renewable energy, education, culture and digital technologies, according to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
India and Bahrain also looked forward to celebrating golden jubilee of establishment of their diplomatic relations this year. Jaishankar reiterated the invitation to the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain for visiting India at an early date.
Jaishankar also congratulated Bahrain on taking over as the Chair of GCC and looked forward to working with Bahrain to strengthen the India-GCC partnership, MEA informed.
Both ministers also discussed regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. India looks forward to early deposition of the Instrument of Ratification of ISA Framework Agreement by Bahrain. (ANI)