New Delhi, Kuwait dim down Muslim-targeting tweets

New Delhi, Kuwait play down Twitter posts on targeting Muslims in India

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After some posts on social media claiming that the Council of Ministers of Kuwait condemned attacks on Muslims in India, New Delhi and the West Asian nation’s government on Monday scrambled to play it down and stop it from turning into an irritant for bilateral relations. 

“The Government of Kuwait has assured us that they are deeply committed to friendly relations with India. They also do not support any interference in the internal affairs of India,” Anurag Srivastava, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), said.

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Some Twitter users from Kuwait recently posted on the micro-blogging website that the Council of Ministers of Kuwait condemned attacks on Muslims in India.

A Kuwaiti Twitter user also tweeted a March 2 note of Kuwaiti Council of Ministers expressing concerns over alleged targeting of Muslims in India and asking Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to take note of it.

The tweets followed similar posts by a section of Twitterati from the United Arab Emirates and other West Asian nations, criticising comments on the social media platforms holding Muslims responsible for much of the spread of COVID-19 virus in India.

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New Delhi was worried over implications of such posts on Twitter as a large section of Indians live and work in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to their counterparts in several Gulf Arab nations over the past few days – ostensibly to make it sure the social media posts do not cause any strain in bilateral relations. New Delhi also detected attempts by elements in Pakistan to fish in troubled waters and re-launch its propaganda against India, including by creating fake accounts in Twitter.

“India recently deployed a rapid response team there to assist the country in its fight against coronavirus. During its two week stay in Kuwait, the team rendered valuable medical assistance in testing and treatment of afflicted persons and training their personnel,” the MEA spokesperson said, adding, “It is therefore important that friendly and cooperative nature of our relations is accurately recognised and misuse of social media is not given credence.”

Kuwait’s envoy to India, Jassem Al-Najem, too stressed on the principle of non-interference in relations between the two countries. “Kuwait and India share many principles in their foreign policies, like respecting UN Charter, non-interference in other countries’ affairs and respecting the sovereignty of nations,” Kuwaiti news agency KUNA quoted Al-Najem as saying.