Indo Kuwait Friendships

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Bilateral diplomatic relations between the Republic of India and the State of Kuwait share a friendly alliance between two countries. Kuwait domicilea lion share expatriate Indian population and is the source for 10% of India's oil imports while India is among the largest trade partners of Kuwait.India and Kuwait enjoy traditionally friendly relations, rooted in history and have stood the test of time.

Geographic proximity, historical trade links, cultural affinities and presence of large number of Indian nationals in Kuwait continue to sustain and nurture this long standing relationship. India has been a natural trading partner of Kuwait and until 1961 Indian Rupee was the legal tender in Kuwait. Till the discovery and development of oil, Kuwait’s economy revolved around its fine harbor and maritime activities which included ship building, pearl diving, fishing and voyages to India on wooden dhows carrying dates, Arabian horses and pearls that were traded for wood, cereals, clothes and spices
Diplomatic Political Relations:
Ever since the independence of Kuwait from British protectorate India and Kuwait have had a healthy diplomatic relations. In June 1962 with the appointment of Yacoub Abdul-Aziz al-Rasheed as the first Kuwaiti Ambassador to India. India was among the earliest countries to recognize Kuwaiti independencewhile Kuwait was one of the first countries to extend support to India during the war with China in 1962.

High Level visits between India and Kuwait
To strength the bonds between two great nations there has been many high level visits from early days of independence by Vice President Dr. Zakir Husain in 1965, by Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi in 1981 and by Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari in 2009.

His Highness Crown Prince and Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah in 1964, the Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in 1980 and again in 1983 (for the NAM Summit), the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in 2006 and the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah in November 2013.

External Affairs Ministry visits
Minister of External Affairs of India Shri S. M. Krishna visited Kuwait on February 3-4, 2010, during which he met HH the Amir, HH the Prime Minister, and HE the Deputy PM and Foreign Minister. This stand-alone visit to Kuwait was EAM’s first visit to the Gulf
region since taking charge as Minister of External Affairs. He also expressed hope that India would soon become a permanent member of the UNSC. EAM was accompanied by Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, Ms. V. Latha Reddy.

Mr. Faisal Al Hajji Bukhadour, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs of Kuwait accompanied by the Under Secretary of Civil Service Commission Mr. Mohammed Al Roomi paid an official visit to India to meet his counterpart, Minister of State for Personnel from February 3-7, 2009. He also met Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri E. Ahmed. The Foreign Minister Sheikh (Dr.) Mohammed Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah visited India in August 2004. During the visit, three bilateral agreements were signed including the India-GCC Framework Agreement for Economic Cooperation.International Cooperation
India and Kuwait share common perceptions on various regional and international issues and have cooperated in regional and international forum. There have been several high level discussions and consultations at political and senior diplomatic levels as well as exchange of visits between the two countries.
India-Kuwait Agreements
India and Kuwait have signed various Agreements to provide a framework for the development of bilateral relations. These include:
• Cultural Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the State of Kuwait signed on November 2, 1970.
• Trade Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of the State of Kuwait signed on February 13, 1974.
• Cooperation Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of the State of Kuwait signed on February 15, 1992.
• MoU on cooperation in the field of telecommunication between the Government of India and the Government of the State of Kuwait signed on February 19, 1992
• Protocol between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of the Republic of India and Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) for Scientific and Technical Cooperation signed on June 16, 1995.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait on the Conducting of Bilateral Consultations signed on July 9, 2000.
• Agreement between the State of Kuwait and the Republic of India for the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investment signed on November 27, 2001.
• Academic Agreement between Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi and Faculty of Arts, Kuwait University signed on December 2003.
• Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between India and Kuwait signed on April 7, 2009.
• Executive Programmer for the Cultural and Information Exchanges between India and Kuwait for the years 2009 – 2011 signed on April 7, 2009.
• Executive Programmer for Education and Learning Cooperation between India and Kuwait for the years 2009 – 2011 signed on April 7, 2009.

Joint Ministerial Commission
An “Agreement between India and Kuwait for the promotion of Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation” was signed in Kuwait in February 1992 during the visit of then EAM Shri Madhavsinh Solanki. At the same time both sides also agreed to set up an “India-Kuwait Joint Ministerial Commission on Economic and Technical Cooperation”. During the visit of the Amir to India in June 2006, it was decided that the Joint Commission for Economic and Commercial Cooperation would hold its first meeting in the last quarter of 2006.
Accordingly, the first meeting of the India-Kuwait Joint Ministerial Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation took place in Kuwait on November 25-27, 2006. The meeting was co-chaired by Mr. E. Ahamed, Minister of State for External Affairs on the Indian side and Mr. Bader Meshari Al-Homeidhi, Finance Minister from the Kuwaiti side. Discussions were held in four Working Groups dealing with Labor and Employment; Trade, Investment and Finance; Energy, Petroleum, Petrochemicals and Fertilizers; and Science & Technology, Information Technology and Communications, Health and Education.Science & Technology, Culture and Education
In the field of culture, education, science & technology and media, there have been series of regular exchanges between Kuwait and India. A Cultural Exchange Programmer, a MOU in the field of Science & Technology and a Memorandum of Understanding between Kuwait University and Jamia Millia Islamia provide a framework for regular exchanges. During the visit of His Highness the Amir in June 2006, an Executive Programmer for Cultural and Information Exchanges for 2006-08 was signed. During the Hon’ble Vice President of India’s visit to Kuwait in April 2009, the Executive Programmer for Cultural and Information Exchanges for 2009-11 was signed. Cultural troupes have also been frequently exchanged. An agreement to cooperate in the field of Science and Technology was also signed during the visit.

Medical cooperation:
India and Kuwait have signed an MoU on Medical Cooperation on April 23, 2012 at New Delhi. A Joint Working Group on Medical Cooperation was set up and its first meeting
was held in Kuwait in November 2013. To streamline the recruitment of nurses from India for work in Kuwait Asstt. Undersecretary Dr. Jamal Al Harbi and Dr Mahmoud Abdulhadiof Kuwaiti Health Ministry visited Kerala on April 15, 2016 and met the Kerala Chief Minister and NORKA Minister Shri K.C. Joseph.

Education
An “India Study Centre” at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Kuwait University was set up in December 2006. Now more than 20 Indian Schools in Kuwait are affiliated to our Central Board of Secondary Education where around 46,000 Indian students study. An Educational Exchange Program on Cooperation in Education and Learning (2013-16) was signed in November 2013.

Youth Affairs & Sports
A two-member Youth Delegation from Kuwait visited India from 9-15 March 2016 under the Youth Exchange Programmer.

Indian Community in Kuwait
According to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior, there are approximately 800,000 Indians, who constitute the largest expatriate community in Kuwait. The Indian community is regarded as the community of first preference among the expatriates in Kuwait. Kuwait views India as a fast-growing economy and a source of highly qualified professional and technical personnel. A large proportion of the Indian expatriates are unskilled and semi-skilled workers. Professionals like engineers, doctors, chartered accountants, scientists, software experts, management consultants, architects; skilled workers like technicians and nurses; semi-skilled workers; retail traders and businessmen are also present in the Indian community.

Approximately 300 associations exist within the Indian community in Kuwait, representing a variety of regional, professional, and cultural interests. Of these, 128 Associations are presently registered with the Embassy. Cultural events are organized regularly by these associations through the year, to which leading Indian artistes are often invited.
There are 20 plus Indian Schools in Kuwait affiliated to the Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi.

Vaccine Maitri
India under the 'Vaccine Maitri' initiative has planned to export the vaccines to other countries to inoculate people against the shortfall in the availability of vaccines.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had earlier said that the capacity to produce vaccines of India is one of the 'best assets that the world has today' to which, Hon’ble external affairs minister replied that the global community can count on the 'Pharmacy of the World'.
A consignment of Indian-made vaccines arrived in Kuwait in the early February 2021, adding that it shows the close friendship and strong ties between the two nations."Made in India vaccines now reach Kuwait. Valuing our close friendship and strong ties,

Vande Bharat Mission
Last but not least, agreement between India and Kuwait, under this agreement Kuwait and India agreed to operate the flights starting from August 10 to repatriate stranded Indians in Kuwait due pandemic COVID 19 which proved to be a great help for Indian community.






Jovina Joseph, Class-VII-B, Carmel School Kuwait



By:
Jovina Joseph, Class-VII-B, Carmel School
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