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Kuwait Emir comming tomorrow to forge ties in oil sector

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, June 13 (UNI) Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah is arriving here tomorrow on a six-day state visit to sign three agreements, including one on double taxation, seek investment in the oil sector, and assure support to New Delhi's claim for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

During the visit, first by an Amir of Kuwait in more than 20 years, the two countries will sign three pacts -- Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty (DTAT), Agreement on Drugs and Narcotics and Agreement on Cooperation in Culture.

They would also explore ways to increase cooperation in the energy sector and hold discussions on setting up a mechanism for joint fight against terror.

With Kuwait deciding to open its petroleum sector to private players, the oil-rich country is likely to seek investment in this area.

The Emir, who will be accompanied by a high-level business delegation, will travel to Mumbai on June 17 to interact with leading Indian industrialists to set up joint ventures in communication and information technology.

On a looking forward visit to making India a strategic partner in peace and development, the Emir will hold talks with President A P J Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders on wide-ranging issues including development in Iraq, nuclear Iran, and the ongoing Indo-Pak peace talks.

Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed was sent to Kuwait specially to invite the Emir even though elections to the Kuwaiti Parliament are due on June 29.

The Emir had been keen to come here at the earliest to reiterate his country's strong and historical ties with India.

Kuwait has been a major supplier of India's energy needs and has supplied 11 million tonnes of crude oil worth 2.5 billion dollars till 2005. While India imports oil and petroleum products from Kuwait, it exports rice, meat products, jewellery and engineering goods to that country.

Kuwait has also extended massive financial assistance to India for a number of projects through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. The assistance has been to the tune of Rs 600 crore for projects such as the Kalinadi hydro electric project, Anpara power plant and Kerala fisheries development scheme.

UNI YJ MSJ BD2033

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