External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday inaugurated a new complex of the Indian embassy in Bahrain as she embarked on her two-day visit to the Gulf nation to strengthen the bilateral ties.

Speaking at the inauguration of the complex in the capital Manama, Swaraj said India and Bahrain share a “glorious past and a dynamic present”.

“The new Embassy complex is the embodiment of historical civilisational connects between the two countries and the culmination of the aspirations of growing Indian expatriate community in the Kingdom of Bahrain,” Swaraj was quoted as saying in an official statement.

She said the new complex was a “testimony of close cooperation between India and Bahrain”.

Swaraj said the new developments that had taken place in the economic field between the two countries will take bilateral economic relations to “greater heights”.

“This multipurpose hall where we all are sitting is designed to further strengthen the already existing strong cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts between the two countries,” the Ministry of External Affairs statement said.

Swaraj, who is visiting Bahrain for the third time, will co-chair the second joint commission meeting with her Bahraini counterpart Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.

The first meeting of the High Joint Commission (HJC) was held in New Delhi in February, 2015.

Swaraj was accorded a warm welcome and was received at Manama airport by Khalifa.

Issues of trade, investment and counter-terror cooperation are likely to be discussed at the joint commission meeting.

India is Bahrain’s fifth largest trading partner.

Terrorism and counter-terror cooperation are also key areas of strategic cooperation between the two countries.

The Indian community of about 3,50,000-4,00,000 people forms nearly one-fourth of Bahrain’s population.

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