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India, Oman sign 8 MoUs including in defence, health and tourism sectors

India and Oman have signed eight Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) in different areas including defence, health and tourism. The MoUs were inked during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to Oman.

They were signed after delegation-level talks between PM Modi and Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said in Muscat. They held wide-ranging discussions on measures to strengthen co-operation in trade and investment, energy, defence, security, food security and regional issues. Oman was last leg PM Modi’s visit to three west Asian countries viz. Palestine, UAE and Oman.

Signed MoUs are

  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of health
  • Annexure to the MoU on Military Cooperation.
  • MoU on Cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space.
  • MoU in the field of Tourism cooperation between India and Oman.
  • Agreement on Legal and Judicial Cooperation in Civil and Commercial matter
  • Agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, Special, service and official passports
  • MoU on Cooperation between Foreign Service Institute, Ministry of External Affairs, India and Oman Diplomatic Institute.
  • MoU on Academic and Scholarly cooperation sectors between National Defence College Sultanate of Oman and the Institute for Defence Studies and the Analyses.

India-Oman

Oman is a strategic partner for India in the Gulf. It accords a high priority to its ties with India. Both countries across Arabian Sea are linked by geography, history and culture. They enjoy warm and cordial relations and have had trade and people-to-people ties for several millennia

Expatriate community: Oman is home to a large Indian expatriate community. India is major destination for Omani students pursuing higher studies and also medical tourists.

Trade: It is India’s important trading partner. In 2010, bilateral trade between India and Oman was $4.5 billion. India. Oman was second largest destination of India’s non-oil exports and its fourth largest source for imports. Indian and Omani firms have undertaken joint ventures in wide range of sectors including fertilisers, pharmaceuticals, energy and engineering.

Defence co-operation: Oman is first Gulf nation to have formalised defence relations with India. Both countries conducted joint military exercises in 2006 and subsequently signed defence agreement. Indian Navy has berthing rights in Oman, and has been utilising Oman’s ports as bases for conducting anti-piracy operations in Gulf of Aden.

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India, Palestine ink six agreements in different areas

India and Palestine have signed six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in different areas including health and education. The MoUs were signed after bilateral talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at Ramallah.

PM Modi had reached Ramallah, capital of Palestine via helicopter from Jordanian capital Amman becoming the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine. He was conferred Grand Collar of the state of Palestine, the highest order given to foreign dignitaries.

Signed agreements are

  • MoU for setting up of India-Palestine Super-specialty hospital at Beit Sahour in Bethelhem Governorate.
  • MoU for construction of Turathi: India Palestine Centre for Empowring women.
  • MoU for setting up of new National Printing Press at Ramallah.
  • MoU for Construction of school in Muthalth Al Shuhada Village.
  • MOU for construction of school in Tamoon village in Tubas Governorate.
  • MoU for providing assistance for construction of additional floor to Jawahar Lal Nehru for Boys at Abu Dees.

Bilateral talks

During the deliberations, both leaders reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and discussed issues of mutual interest. The highlights of joint press statement:

India is bound by promise to take care of interests of people of West Asian country. Both counties share historic and strong ties which have stood test of time. Palestine has continuously shown exemplary courage in tough times and India hopes to see independent Palestine soon. India expresses happiness that both countries are moving ahead with development cooperation. India will aid construction of an Institute of Diplomacy in Palestine.

PM Modi’s visit reaffirms depth of relationships two countries share that will contribute to further development and advancement of bilateral ties. Palestine relies on India’s role as international force and its role in non-alignment movement, in a way that is conducive to desired peace in the region.

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