External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid would be visiting ‘Middle-East’ to take stock of the evolving alignments there following the developments on Iran’s nuclear issue and Saudi Arabia’s refusal to take up a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council.
Mr. Khurshid would also visit Manama (Bahrain), where he would hold talks with the top leadership and also participate in the Manama Dialogue. Bahrain too has had its share of Arab Spring that led to intervention by Saudi Arabian security forces. But the level of violence has been negligible compared to some other countries in the region.
Bahrain’s importance for India stems from it being the home to more than 3.5 lakh Indians, the largest expatriate community in the country. It is part of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council where over 70 Indians live. India sources 60 % of its oil from the region with cumulative trade of over $170 billion.