India, Bahrain sign agreement for swapping prisoners

New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) India and Bahrain on Saturday signed an agreement to exchange their citizens lodged in the prisons of each other’s country.

The agreement was signed following a bilateral dialogue between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Bahraini counterpart Shaikh Khalid Al Khalifa.

“Marking progress on consular matters. EAM @SushmaSwaraj & Bahrain FM sign agreement on transfer of sentenced persons,” external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup tweeted along with pictures of the two leaders.

At nearly 300,000, Indians form the largest expatriate community in Bahrain. A majority of them are blue collar workers.

The erstwhile ministry of overseas Indian affairs, now merged with the external affairs ministry, had started the process of exchange of prisoners, according to which, Indians lodged in jails in the Gulf countries could complete the rest of their prison terms in Indian jails and vice-versa.

Earlier on Saturday, Sushma Swaraj called on Bahrain’s King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa in Manama.

The minister and the king then watched the Sarang helicopter team of the Indian Air Force in action at the ongoing Bahrain International Air Show, according to Swarup.

Prior to this, Sushma Swaraj visited the India Pavilion at the air show where she was given a briefing on the Indian Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA) by scientists associated with the project.

Sushma Swaraj reached Manama on Saturday to attend the first ever India-Arab League ministerial meeting to be held on Sunday.

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