External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will embark on a six-day tour of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Seychelles beginning today, in a visit seen as important as it comes in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Jaishankar's first destination will be Bahrain from where he will travel to the United Arab Emirates. He will travel to Seychelles in the third and final leg of his visit.
In his two-day visit to Bahrain from November 24 to 25, Jaishankar will personally convey condolences on behalf of the government and people of India to the Bahraini leadership on the sad demise of Prime Minister of Bahrain Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa on November 11, the MEA said.
The external affairs minister will also hold talks on bilateral issues as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest with Bahraini leaders.
"Bahrain hosts more than 350,000 Indians and both countries have worked together to face the Covid-19 pandemic. Flights are operational between both countries under an air bubble arrangement," it said in a statement.
On November 25 and 26, Jaishankar will visit the UAE where he is scheduled to meet his counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
"Both leaders will take forward the excellent cooperation between India and the UAE under our comprehensive strategic partnership and exchange views on various regional and international issues," the MEA said.
Jaishankar will also discuss ways for Indian workers to resume their jobs in UAE in the post-COVID scenario. More than 3 million Indians live and work in the UAE.
India and UAE have maintained high-level contacts in the last few months.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in the midst of the pandemic.
Jaishankar has also spoken to the UAE foreign minister several times in the past few months.
In the last leg of his tour, the external affairs minister will travel to Seychelles on November 27 and 28.
In Seychelles, Jaishankar will call-on the newly elected President, Wavel Ramkalawan, to present greetings of Prime Minister Modi and will discuss with him the priorities of the new government and avenues for further strengthening of bilateral relations, the MEA said.
Jaishankar will also hold bilateral consultations with the newly appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism Sylvestre Radegonde, it said.