Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister to visit India

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New Delhi, July 7 (IANS) Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Abdulmalik Abduljalil Al-Mekhlafi will visit India from July 10 to 13 at the invitation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the External Affairs Ministry announced on Friday.

“The two countries share commonality of views on major international issues such as UN reforms and combating international terrorism,” the ministry said in a statement.

“During the upcoming visit, the two sides will discuss the entire gamut of bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.”

Al-Mekhlafi’s visit comes after the visit of then Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi in 2012 for participation in the 12th Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) Ministerial meetings.

In 2015, after a coalition of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia attacked Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen who toppled the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, India executed Operation Raahat in which over 5,500 Indian nationals and citizens of other countries were evacuated.

“India and Yemen share close and friendly relations based on strong people-to-people contacts, which are reflected by the presence of nearly 300,000 Indians of Yemeni origin living in India and around 100,000 people of Indian origin settled in Aden and other parts of southern Yemen,” the External Affairs Ministry statement said.

“For Yemen, India has traditionally been one of the major trade partners and a popular destination for its students pursuing higher education on self-financing basis as also for medical treatment of the Yemeni patients,” it stated.

India offers capacity-building assistance under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) programme and Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) scholarship programmes to the people of Yemen.

“India is also a member of the Friends of Yemen Group and has regularly provided humanitarian assistance to Yemen in the past,” the statement said.

–IANS

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