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New Delhi: India on Tuesday decided to set up one million dollar facility for academic collaboration with the Arab World in a step that will have far reaching impact on people to people contacts between Delhi and its extended neighbours.

This was decided at third Senior Officials Meeting of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum held via video conference. The financial facility will be a rolling one and continue to be replenished.

The Meeting was co-chaired by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (CPV&OIA) MEA and Ambassador Mohamed Abu Al-Kheir, Assistant Foreign Minister and Permanent Representative of Egypt to the League of Arab States with the participation of Senior Officials from the Arab States and India, as well as the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States.

The Senior Officials recalled the historic and civilizational ties that exist between the Arab World and India and underlined the contribution of the commercial and cultural ties to binding the two sides together.

The Senior Officials discussed issues of mutual concern on both regional and international levels, emphasizing the importance of strengthening cooperation and coordination mechanisms between the two sides, in a way that serves mutual interests and maintains regional and international peace and security.

In this regard, they reiterated the need for political solutions to regional issues and crises in the Middle East, according to relevant international legitimacy resolutions and relevant agreements and references, particularly the Palestinian Issue, the crises in Syria, Libya and Yemen, and underscored the need for cooperation in combating terrorism and ensuring freedom of navigation and maritime security, according to the principles of international law.

They stressed that the exceptional circumstances and unprecedented challenges that the world faces due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic require the need to strengthen international and regional cooperation to confront the consequences of this pandemic, including in areas of conflict and crises. In that context, they discussed ongoing collaboration between India and the Arab States in the fields of diagnostics and treatment, and exchanged views on respective national approaches to post-Co ..

The Arab side congratulated India on its election as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for a two-year term (2021-2022), while looking forward to India’s continuing pivotal role at the international stage, particularly with regard to regional issues of mutual concern.

The Senior Officials also discussed ways and means to enhance cooperation in the framework of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum, including in the fields of: economy, trade and investment, energy and environment, agriculture and food security, tourism and culture, human resources development, education and health care, science and technology, and media.

They agreed on the early scheduling of the joint activities of the Forum, including the 3rd Session of Arab-India Cultural Festival, the Symposium on Arab-India Cooperation in the field of Energy, the 1st Arab-India University Presidents Conference, the 2nd Symposium on Arab-India Cooperation in the field of Media, and the 6th Session of Arab-India Partnership Conference. They look forward to holding the 2nd Ministerial Meeting of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum, in India, at a convenient date.