India and Bahrain on Tuesday signed five agreements, including an extradition treaty that deals with concrete steps to combat terrorism and strengthens bilateral cooperation in control of crime.
The agreements, signed in the presence of visiting Bahrain Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, also include a memorandum of understanding on foreign office consultations.
The other agreements relate to mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and judicial, commercial and civil matters. The two sides also signed a bilateral investment, promotion and protection agreement.
The extradition treaty was signed by Finance Minister Jaswant Singh and Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa al Khalifa, Bahrain's
Bahrain is the second Gulf country after UAE with which India has signed the extradition treaty.
The MoU on foreign office consultations, which recognises the importance of exchange of opinions at different levels on
matters of bilateral relations and international issues of mutual interest, was inked by External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha and Bahrain's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shaikh Mohammad bin Mubarak Al Khalifa.
At the delegation-level talks, Vajpayee underlined the historical links between India and Bahrain and their cooperation in multilateral fora like the Non-Aligned Movement.
Vajpayee hoped the visit of the Bahraini Prime Minister would mark a qualitative surge in bilateral relations, the External Affairs Ministry spokesman said.
Referring to the agreements signed, he said these would initiate regular exchanges between security and law enforcement agencies of the two countries and establish a framework for institutional and investment relationship.
The prime minister lauded the Bahrain government's policy of ensuring that Indian expatriates work in an atmosphere that enables them to contribute fully to the economic success of that country.
He also welcomed the initiatives taken by the Gulf Cooperation Council to establish institutional relations with India, both in the political and economic fields.
Shaikh Khalifa, who is on a four-day visit, was accorded a ceremonial reception at the Rashtrapati Bhavan this morning.
He later paid homage at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi and laid a wreath.
The external affairs minister called on the Bahrain leader who will also have meetings with Vice President Bhairon
Singh Shekhawat and Leader of the Opposition Sonia Gandhi.
Shaikh Khalifa, who arrived here on Sunday, had called on President A P J Abdul Kalam on Monday.