India–Kuwait high-level contacts are outlined below:
• VVIP visits from India to Kuwait: Vice President Dr Zakir Husain visited Kuwait in 1965. Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi visited Kuwait in 1981 and Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari visited Kuwait in 2009.
• VVIP visits from Kuwait to India: H.H. Crown Prince and Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah visited India in 1964, H.H. the Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited India in 1980 and again in 1983 (for the NAM Summit), HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah visited India in 2006 and H.H. the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al- Hamad Al-Sabah visited India in November 2013.
• External Affairs Minister H.E. Dr S. Jaishankar visited Kuwait on June 9-11, 2021 at the invitation of H.E. Sheikh (Dr.) Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah, Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs, State of Kuwait.
• Hon. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, and Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, visited Kuwait on 11-12 October 2020 to offer condolences on the demise of the late Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
• Minister of State of External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs Shri V. Muraleedharan paid an official visit to Kuwait on 14-15 September 2019 and met Minister of State for Economic Affairs of Kuwait and also held bilateral talks, on a wide range of issues, with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Kuwait.
• Hon. EAM Smt. Sushma Swaraj paid an official visit to Kuwait on 30-31 October 2018 and called on the Amir H.H. Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Prime Minister H.H. Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah; and held wide-ranging discussions with H.E. Sheikh Sabah Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Kuwait.
• The 4th Foreign Office Consultations (FOCs) between India and Kuwait were held in Kuwait on 01-02 August 2018.
• Gen. V.K. Singh (Retd), Minister of State for External Affairs visited Kuwait from 10-11 January 2018 and met the Minister of State for Social Affairs. He had earlier visited Kuwait from 6-7 September 2016 and met Deputy PM and Interior Minister, Deputy Foreign Minister, Minister of Social Affairs &Labour and Governor of Farwaniya Governorate.
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India and Kuwait enjoy traditionally warm and friendly relations, rooted in history and sustained people-to-people contact. The year 2020-21 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between two countries. India has been a natural trading partner of Kuwait and until 1961 Indian Rupee was the legal tender in Kuwait. Till the discovery and development of oil, Kuwait’s economy revolved around its fine harbour and maritime activities which included shipbuilding, pearl diving, fishing and voyages to India on wooden dhows carrying dates, Arabian horses and pearls that were traded for wood, cereals, clothes and spices.
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The visit of External Affairs Minister, H.E. Dr. S. Jaishankar to Kuwait (9th-11th June 2021) was part of the enhanced political exchange on the 60th anniversary of steady and fruitful diplomatic relations between the two countries. The relation has assumed an unprecedented dimension of trust and care with the mutual pandemic outreach and assistance to each other. The visit was intended to consolidate the attainments of relations so far and expand new areas of mutual cooperation by building bridges of trust and confidence for the security and stability of the region.
INDIAN DIASPORA IN KUWAIT
India and Kuwait savor traditional close-knit ties since time immemorial due to historical trade links, geographical proximity, and cultural ties besides the presence of the Indian diaspora. India is also one of the biggest trading nations of Kuwait and the Gulf nation likewise is a significant supplier of oil to India. The Indian rupee was also the legal tender until 1961 in Kuwait and also the Indo-Kuwaiti trade revolved around textiles, horses, trade, and agricultural goods. Later, the diplomatic ties between the two countries began in 1962 when India was amongst the first nations to recognize the independence of Kuwait.
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