A sudden spike was seen in the number of fake Twitter handles of Arabic royalties, that emerged tweeting anti-India material

Gulf countries have assured India that they will have zero tolerance to any attempts to create discord after a sudden spike was seen in the number of fake Twitter handles of Arabic royalties, that emerged tweeting anti-India material. This was conveyed to the Union Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar during his phone conversations with foreign ministers of five west Asian countries to greet them at the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan.

Jaishankar spoke to the Finance Ministers of Saudi Arabia and Oman on April 23 and to the Finance Ministers of Qatar, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Palestine on April 24. He had earlier spoken to the Finance Ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait, and Algeria on this issue.

Sources told Zee Media that the Gulf countries are very sensitive to attempts to create social disharmony and have zero tolerance in this regard, adding that "negative social media posts from fake handles have come in for adverse attention of these governments."

Earlier this week it emerged that a Twitter handle going by '@ pak_fauj' had changed its name to Omani Royalty and had tweeted anti-India propaganda which was quoted by many in Pakistan. The Omani Princess later issued a statement clarifying that someone was impersonating her.

During Jaishankar's conversation with the Finance Ministers of the Gulf region, both sides realised that such attempts are also "intended to create discord in the special relations that exist between India and countries of the region"

The Foreign Minister of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries also appreciated the "rich contributions made by Indians living and working" in their respective countries to its growth and prosperity. Jaishankar thanked them for going the "extra mile" in taking care of the welfare of Indians in these trying times.

Measures to jointly deal with the COVID-19 crisis dominated the talks with appreciation being expressed for India for sending essential medicines. Many Gulf countries had requested essential medicines like hydroxychloroquine and paracetamol, with New Delhi sending aid and supplies to the region on a commercial basis. India is sending hydroxychloroquine to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Egypt, and Palestine.

As part of its outreach to the extended neighbourhood, India sent rapid response teams to Kuwait to help the country deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

The discussion also focused on oil prices and its implications, given the fact that India is a key market for crude oil from the Gulf. New Delhi has also told them that it will give "sympathetic consideration" to the request of some Gulf countries to allow their medical personnel stranded in India to go back.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken to 9 West Asian leaders on the COVID-19 crisis. These are Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt. During these talks, the Prime Minister spoke at length on the priority New Delhi has attached to ‘Think West’ and emphasised on the need for coordinated efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.