New Delhi, May 2: India and Kuwait held the Fifth Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) today in New Delhi, during which the two sides agreed to diversify cooperation in areas like trade and investment, education, health and tourism.
The Indian delegation was led by Vipul, Joint Secretary (Gulf), Ministry of External Affairs. Ambassador Sameeh Essa Johar Hayat, Assistant Foreign Minister for Asia Affairs of Kuwait (AFM), headed the Kuwaiti delegation. Ambassadors from both countries as well as officials from other Ministries also participated in the FOC, a statement said.
AFM Hayat also called on Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi, who recalled the historic and friendly relations between both countries and underlined the need to further strengthen and diversify the relationship.
AFM handed over a letter from Sheikh Salem Abdullah Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait addressed to External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar.
During the FOC, both sides undertook a comprehensive review of various aspects of bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The significance of high-level visits, particularly the early convening of the Joint Ministerial Commission at EAM/FM level was emphasized.
While expressing satisfaction over the traditionally strong bilateral ties, the sides agreed to diversify cooperation in various areas, particularly trade and investment, education , science and high-technology, health, tourism etc.
The Indian side thanked the Kuwaiti side for ensuring the welfare of the large Indian community in Kuwait and looked forward to further facilitation and streamlining of some of the consular issues affecting the community. Both sides agreed on the importance of effective implementation of the bilateral MoU on Domestic sector workers to ensure safe and legal migration.
The sides also discussed UN and other multilateral issues of mutual interest, including UN Security Council reforms and agreed to continue the discussions.
The Indian side conveyed that it looks forward to welcoming Kuwait as a Dialogue Partner in SCO soon under its Presidency.
The FoC is expected to impart the necessary momentum in bilateral relations. It was agreed to hold the next FoC in Kuwait at a mutually convenient time, the statement said.
The Indian Embassy in Kuwait in a tweet said:
“The 5th round of Foreign Office Consultations between India and Kuwait were held today in New Delhi. Both sides reviewed various aspects of bilateral relations comprehensively and agreed to further strengthen and diversify bilateral ties.”