New Delhi: Reflecting the importance it places on ties with oil-rich Kuwait, India on Sunday dispatched Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to offer condolences to the leadership of the Gulf nation on the passing away of its former Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Pradhan is carrying letters from President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the new leadership of Kuwait.
“Embarked on a two-day visit to Kuwait to offer condolences to the Kuwaiti leadership on behalf of the Govt. Of India on the passing away of former Amir of Kuwait His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah,” Pradhan tweeted.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Pradhan will also convey greetings on behalf of India to Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on assuming responsibilities as the new Amir of Kuwait and Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as the Crown Prince.
It said Pradhan is visiting Kuwait on October 11 and 12 to offer condolences on behalf of the government of India to the Kuwaiti leadership on the “sad demise” Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed.
Kuwait Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad passed away at a US hospital on September 29. He was 91.
India had observed a day of national mourning on October 4 as a mark of respect to the Kuwaiti leader. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had visited Kuwait Embassy here on October 1 to convey India’s condolences.
“India and Kuwait maintained close and friendly relations under the leadership of the late Amir. He was a true friend and well-wisher of India in guiding and strengthening bilateral engagements for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries,” the MEA.
It said both countries continue to take forward their “historic relationship” in diverse areas and have also cooperated closely to deal with COVID-19.
Kuwait is a strategically important country for India in the Gulf region. It is India’s sixth largest crude oil supplier.
The Indian community with a strength of about 10 lakh is the largest expatriate community in Kuwait and is regarded as the community of first preference among the expatriates.
Professionals like engineers, doctors, chartered accountants, scientists, software experts, management consultants, architects; technicians and nurses; retail traders and businessmen are present in Kuwait, though a large proportion consists of unskilled and semi-skilled workers.
Kuwait’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) is reported to have invested USD 2 billion in India since 2017, taking the total investment in the country to USD 5 billion.
“I will be delivering letters from Hon. @rashtrapatibhvn Shri Ram Nath Kovind and Hon. PM Shri @narendramodi to the new leadership of Kuwait,” Pradhan said.
“I will also convey good wishes on behalf of PM Shri @narendramodi and the people of India to HH Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on assuming responsibilities as the new Amir of the State of Kuwait and HH Sheikh Mishaal Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as the Crown Prince,” Pradhan tweeted.
“Look forward to meet the new leadership in Kuwait to further strengthen the multi-faceted India-Kuwait relationship and take forward our historic relationship in diverse areas,” he added.