Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Prime Minister's statement to media after delegation level talks with the Prime Minister of Kuwait

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Following is the text of the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh’s media statement after delegation level talks with the Prime Minister of Kuwait : 

“It gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber on his first State Visit to India. 

India’s relations with Kuwait are rooted in historical links and enriched by the great warmth and goodwill between our peoples. We deeply appreciate the personal interest that His Highness the Emir of Kuwait and His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber have shown in the development of our bilateral relations. 

Today, Kuwait is one of our most valued partners and a close friend in an important region of the world, which is critical for India’s energy security, is among the biggest destinations for our exports and where more than seven million Indians work and earn their livelihoods. 

I have just finished very productive discussions with His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber. We reaffirmed our shared belief that close relations between India and Kuwait are important to both countries and acknowledged the vast untapped potential for our cooperation. We agreed to work purposefully to expand our relations in key areas, including energy and investments. 

Kuwait is the fourth largest supplier of crude oil to India. His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber and I discussed the development of a more strategic partnership in the energy sector between our two countries. This can be done through long-term supply contracts on mutually beneficial terms and the establishment of upstream and downstream joint ventures in the petroleum and petrochemical sectors. India has proposed several specific projects for investments by the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. I am encouraged by His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber’s response and I am hopeful that we can translate some of these proposals into concrete symbols of cooperation very soon. 

I also conveyed to His Highness the Prime Minister that India offers attractive investment opportunities for Kuwait in the infrastructure sector. Our two sides will undertake discussions on specific proposals and appropriate investment vehicles for channelling Kuwaiti investments in India. A delegation of the Kuwait Investment Authority is expected to make anearly visit to India in this context. 

I shared with His Highness Sheikh Jaber the strong interest of Indian companies to participate in infrastructure projects under Kuwait’s Development Plan. Indian companies have considerable experience of working in Kuwait. His Highness has assured me that Indian companies are welcome in Kuwait and that they will continue to enjoy fair and equal opportunities there. 

I expressed our gratitude to the Kuwaiti leadership for hosting 700,000 Indians nationals in Kuwait. They are part of Kuwaiti society and are making valuable contributions to Kuwait’s development. Given that many of them are unskilled or semi-skilled workers, I requested His Highness the Prime Minister for the continued support of the Kuwaiti leadership to ensure that the full protection of Kuwaiti laws and labour welfare measures is available to them. 

We also shared views on developments in West Asia and the Gulf, where both our countries have a common interest in peace and stability. We recognize the importance of a peaceful resolution of the Syrian conflict, and hope that the Geneva-II conference will contribute towards this objective. I expressed our appreciation for Kuwait’s contribution to promoting peace and stability in the region. 

Security cooperation has added a new dimension to our relationship and I expressed appreciation for Kuwait’s cooperation in this area. We agreed that countering radicalism and extremism is a common challenge. We also agreed to strengthen our cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism through institutionalized dialogue and training. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, this visit of His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber has imparted a fresh impetus to our efforts to further carry forward our multifaceted bilateral relations with Kuwait. 

I once again extend a warm welcome to His Highness Sheikh Jaber and wish him a pleasant and fruitful stay in India.” 

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