Enjoying warmth in their relations, India and GCC countries have continued their close cooperation even during the Covid-19 pandemic

India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Troika held their annual Political Dialogue on Tuesday in virtual mode and undertook detailed review of ties between the two sides.

While appreciating the upward trajectory in ties witnessed between the two sides in the last few years, India and the GCC countries exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.

At the meet, while External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, led the Indian delegation, the GCC was represented at the Troika-level by Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf, Secretary General of GCC, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bahrain and Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, UAE. Senior representatives from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar also participated in the meeting.

They agreed that the India-GCC partnership in political, economic and other domains would be further strengthened. The GCC welcomed India’s inclusion in the UNSC as a non-permanent member from January 2021.

Both sides affirmed their commitment to reform multilateral institutions to reflect the realities of the 21st century and to work together to address contemporary challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, sustainable development and terrorism.

They expressed satisfaction that India and GCC countries have continued their close cooperation even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The EAM apprised the GCC leaders of the improving situation in India, both on the health and economic side. He hoped for an early return to trade normalcy between India and the GCC. India had ensured that the supply chains from India to the Gulf were not disrupted despite the lockdowns during the pandemic,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

EAM Jaishankar also apprised GCC leaders about the progress made by India in vaccine development as well as in the development and manufacturing of diagnostic and other equipment related to Covid-19. Both sides reaffirmed that they will continue to work together to tackle Covid-19 situation.