The situation in West Asia, particularly in Iraq and Syria, also figured during the talks at the first session of the India-Arab League senior officials' meeting which took place as per Memorandum of Cooperation signed between the two sides signed in December last year.

Arab countries are key for India's energy security and bilateral trade with most of the countries are on growing steadily in the last few years. The Gulf region accounts for over 60 percent of India's oil and gas requirement.
The two sides deliberated on the whole gamut of bilateral issues including trade and investment, energy, environment protection, agriculture and food security, culture and education among others.

India and the Arab countries historically enjoy close relations. The Indian side was led by Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), in the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Arab side was headed by Widadi Ould Sedi Heiba, Ambassador of Mauritania to the Arab Republic of Egypt and Permanent
Delegate to the Arab League.

In the talks, officials from both sides also reviewed preparations for the fourth edition of the India-Arab Partnership Conference to be held here later this month.
"The size of bilateral trade between India and League of Arab states is over USD 200 billion and the upcoming conference aims at further boosting the econimic ties between the two regions," a delegate said.

The delegate said both sides underlined the importance of enhancing air connectivity between India and Arab countries to boost trade, tourism and people-to-people ties.


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