Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to make his debut visit to Bahrain, the GDN has learned.
Local representatives of India’s ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told the GDN yesterday that the visit has been confirmed and expected to take place either later this month or early next month.
However, no official statement has been released in this regard by the Indian or Bahraini governments and the Indian Embassy in Manama.
“The Prime Minister is coming to Bahrain, this has been confirmed officially from New Delhi,” said Sunil Kumar, who is the Indian Embassy’s co-ordinator for overseas BJP in Bahrain.
“The dates have not been confirmed yet, as it would depend on Mr Modi’s schedule in India during the Independence Day on August 15, a time when he is receiving many delegations in New Delhi.
“So, we understand from Delhi that the dates will be confirmed only after this and the visit is highly likely to be before the end of the month.”
Well-placed sources also told the GDN that Mr Modi is expected to be accompanied by a senior delegation and will likely take part in celebrations marking 200 years of the Krishna Temple in Manama.
Celebrations lasting throughout this year are underway, as the oldest Hindu Temple in the country celebrates its 200th anniversary.
The temple, located inside the Manama Suq, is also known as the Krishna Temple, where the deity is Sreenathjee (a form of the Hindu god Krishna).
“We have no confirmation on the agenda of the visit, but yes, chances are there that Mr Modi will be taking part in the celebrations marking 200 years of the Hindu temple,” added Mr Kumar in response to the sources.
Reports in local Indian media also said that a number of bilateral agreements were expected to be signed during the high-level visit.
The 68-year-old, who is the 14th prime minister of India, has made 52 foreign trips on six continents, visiting 59 countries including the US to attend the UN General Assembly, and covering all GCC countries – except Kuwait and Bahrain – since he assumed office in 2014.
His much anticipated visit to Bahrain follows the death of former Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday, who visited Bahrain three times during her tenure.
The GDN has approached the Indian Embassy for a comment.
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