Manmohan Singh to go to
Oman, Qatar Nov 8
Delhi, Oct 31 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will go
to Oman and Qatar Nov 8 on a three-day visit - his first trip
to the Gulf region since assuming the office over four years
prime minister was earlier planning to go to Saudi Arabia
and Qatar, but the trip to Riyadh could not take off as mutually
convenient dates could not be worked out.
were date problems. Te Saudi king has to go to New York to
attend an international conference on the dates suggested
by India,” official sources told IANS.
there were long-standing invitations for the Indian prime
minister to visit Oman and Qatar, the prime minister was keen
to make his first visit to the Gulf region during his prime
ministerial tenure, sources added.
Gulf region is home to 4.5 million-strong Indian diaspora
that sends almost $10 billion in remittances annually to India
and accounts for 80 per cent of India's oil imports.
security will be a key theme during the prime minister's visit
to these countries. Issues relating to the welfare of Indian
workers in these countries will be high on the agenda.
energy and economy-related agreements are likely to be signed
during the visit, the sources added. Details are being worked
elections barely a few months away, the prime minister's visit
to the two Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has also political
overtones and is likely to be projected as a sign of India's
commitment to deepen relations with the Muslim world despite
New Delhi's growing ties with Washington.