India looking to further boost its Look Middle East policy

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    Sachin Parashar,TNN | Jan 28, 2014, 12.52 PM IST

    NEW DELHI: Close on the heels of India's participation in Geneva II over Syria, India is looking to further boost what has come to be known as its Look Middle East policy.

    Government sources said on Tuesday that as a part of that exercise foreign minister Salman Khurshid will travel soon to Morocco, Tunisia and Sudan.

    The past few months have seen a series of visits to India by influential leaders from the region including those by the foreign ministers of Egypt and UAE and also the Secretary General of the Arab League. India says this has been indicative of its enhanced engagement with key Arab countries of the Middle East.

    The visit to Tunisia is the first bilateral visit by an Indian foreign minister to that country. There have been two visits by Tunisian foreign ministers to India in 1991 and 2000.

    "This long overdue visit of EAM will be an interesting contact between the largest democracy in the world with a new democracy which has been struggling against odds to achieve durability," said an official.

    Khurshid will also visit Sudan with which India is collaborating actively in the field of energy. He will hold dialogue with his counterpart Ali Ahmed Karti over the issue.

    India is the second largest exporter for Sudan. During the year 2012-13, the bilateral trade between the two countries stood at US$ 888.28 million with Indian exports of US$ 754.94 million. This year it is likely to cross US$ 1 billion mark.

    Several Indian companies are now active in Sudan including ONGC-Videsh Ltd. (OVL), BHEL, TCIL, Progressive Construction Ltd., Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto etc.

    India looking to further boost its Look Middle East policy - The Times of India
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