Arab League to sign MoU with India for bilateral cooperation

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New Delhi, Jan 22 (UNI) Arab League, an umbrella organisation of 22 countries, including the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), today said it expects to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India by March for stepping up bilateral cooperation.

''We have proposed the draft of the MoU to the Indian government and hopefully it will be signed by March 2008,'' League of Arab States Mission Head (India) Ahmed Salem Al-Wahishi told reporters on the sidelines of 'India-Arab Trade and Investment: Trends and Opportunities' organised by Ficci here.

He said the MoU between India and Arab League, is a comprehensive document covering all aspects of cooperation -- political, economical, social and cultural.

However, Mr N Ravi, Secretary (East in the External Affairs Ministry), said the government is seriously considering it, but did not divulge the exact time frame for signing the agreement.

The agreement, a long-term one, will open a golden period for Indo-Arab cooperation with unlimited spectrum of cooperation, Sheikh Ahmed said.

He added that the agreement could be signed either in India or the Arab country in the next two months.

During last year, the India's total non-oil trade with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) stood at 15 billion dollars, Sheikh Ahmed said, adding that this figure is only with one of the nations of the Arab League.

UNI SBA SR RN1654

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