Will ensure safety of Indians: Bahrain to India

New Delhi: Bahrain on Wednesday assured India that it would ensure the safety and security of the 3.5-lakh strong Indian community in that country, which is witnessing wide-spread anti-government protests.

Bahrain`s Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al-Khalifa met External Affairs Minister S M Krishna here and held discussions on issues of mutual interest, including recent developments in Bahrain and the region.

During the meeting, Shaikh Khalid conveyed the "firm assurance" of the Bahraini leadership about ensuring the safety and security of the Indian community and appreciated their contribution to the progress and development of Bahrain, an official statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said.

Krishna thanked his counterpart for this "reassurance" with regard to the Indian community`s well-being in Bahrain which is hit by anti-government protests.

He expressed the hope that the peaceful resolution of all issues through dialogue would pave the way for the continued economic development and prosperity of the people of Bahrain.

In his opening remarks, Shaikh Khalid said: "It is always important for us to have such meeting… to discuss issues of mutual concern and to discuss regional matters and all threats that threaten us all."

"We are on the right track. We are together facing common threats. Threats of terror, threats of unrest and threats of destabilising the lives of our people."

Referring to the safety of Indians in Bahrain, he said "when I visited the Indian community in Bahrain, I talked to them, I listened to them, I reassured them. I told them that they have served our country and its development, it was our time to serve them by reassuring them that Bahrain is their home."

"When I was talking to them I did not feel I was talking to expats. I felt I was talking to my countrymen, people living with us and sharing their lives."

Shaikh Khalid, who arrived here yesterday evening after a visit to Pakistan said he is here to re-assure India that Bahrain is committed to this ongoing ever developing strong relationship.

In his opening remarks, Krishna said he was thankful to the Government and the people of Bahrain for extending a warm welcome to the sizable Indian community there who in turn have contributed to Bahrain`s development.

"This contribution has been recognised by the Bahraini leadership and we thank them for their continued support to the Indian community," he said.