PM Modi lauds strong ties with Islamic countries, says relations have strengthened

WION New Delhi, India Dec 22, 2019, 05.56 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal Edited By: Sparshita Saxena

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photograph:( ANI )

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The prime minister said countries like 'Afghanistan, Palestine, Saudi, the UAE, the Maldives, Bahrain - all these countries have given the highest awards to India. They have strengthened ties with the Indian civilization'. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that India's ties with the Islamic world and Gulf countries have increased in the past few years and this is largely due to the growing respect for New Delhi.

While speaking at a rally in Delhi today, Modi said, "We have the best ties with the Islamic world, Gulf countries in current times and many reasons to it. We have been putting efforts to strengthen ties with Palestine, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan... we have achieved heights in our relations".

The prime minister said countries like "Afghanistan, Palestine, Saudi, the UAE, the Maldives, Bahrain - all these countries have given the highest awards to India. They have strengthened ties with the Indian civilization."

Earlier this year, PM Modi was honoured by the UAE's top award - the Zayed Medal and Bahrain's 'King Hamad Order of the Renaissance'. In all, PM Modi has been honoured six times from various countries of the Islamic world with top honours.

The prime minister talked about the increase in Haj quota by Saudi Arabia for Indians and the release of Indian prisoners by Islamic countries. 

PM Modi said, "Saudi Arabia increased Haj quota. I had raised the issue, told Saudis that India's Muslim middle-class is increasing, they want to do Haj. I said the quota should be 2 lakhs and they increased it. In the last 5 years, many Islamic countries have released many Indian prisoners which is unprecedented. Saudi, Kuwait, Qatar or Bahrain, they have released Indian prisoners. This is for the first time so many Indian prisoners have been released by them."

The Gulf hosts a large population of the Indian diaspora. In terms of energy, India gets its crude oil from that part of the world.

PM Modi said when he visits "Islamic countries and meets the leaders and the Indian diaspora, he is told that the "respect for India has increased substantially".

A number of high-level visits have taken in the first term of PM Modi to west Asia. In his second term, he visited the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.