India-Lebanon Bilateral Relations
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India-Lebanon Bilateral Relations

India and Lebanon have historically enjoyed close and friendly relations. India established diplomatic relations with Lebanon in 1954. Shared commonalities include, besides cultural similarities, a democratic, parliamentary system of government based on a written constitution, basic freedoms and human rights; a market economy moving towards greater liberalization; a large pool of educated English-speaking professionals and entrepreneurs; and a vibrant global diaspora.


2. The fact that India kept its Embassy in Beirut open and functioning throughout the civil war from 1975 to 1990 [closing very briefly from 5 August to 16 October, 1989], in contrast to the Embassies of a large number of other countries, is greatly appreciated by the Lebanese, together with India’s traditionally strong linkages with the Arab world and our steadfast support for the Palestine cause. Both countries have also cooperated closely on various issues of mutual interest during their overlap in 2010 as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.


Indian Community:

3. There are nearly 2000-2500 Indian nationals in Lebanon, with a majority of them employed as workers in companies, construction sector, agricultural farms, etc. The Embassy attaches highest priority to reaching out to the Indian community in an earnest, active, helpful and broad-based manner, and in ensuring their well being and welfare. In light of Covid-19 pandemic and the travel restrictions the Embassy facilitated three special community charter flights for repatriating Indians between June-August 2020.


Indian Battalion [INDBATT] in UNIFIL:

4. Indian Army personnel (INDBATT) have been deployed in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) since November, 1998. The INDBATT contingent currently consists of 900 personnel, but for the first time, Kazakh troops are serving under the command of the Indian Battalion. With their utmost professionalism, INDBATT personnel are highly regarded for their sincere outreach to the local community and they have been able to win hearts and minds of the local community. Number of projects have been undertaken by the battalion in southern Lebanon.


5. Upon transfer of authority, 19 Madras Regiment passed on the Baton of the Indian Battalion UNIFIL to Mahar Battalion Group, Col. PN Sujay Kumar, Sena Medal on 16 April, 2022.


High level visits and invitations:

6. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, during his tenure as Prime Minister of India visited Lebanon in 1956 and 1960. Minister of State for Defence Mr. MM Pallam Raju visited Lebanon to meet Indian Peacekeepers at INDBATT at UNIFIL from 10-12 September 2008. Mr. E. Ahamed, Minister of State for External Affairs visited Lebanon in 2013. Mr. M.J. Akbar, the then Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India visited Beirut in August, 2016. Mr. Amar Sinha, then Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs visited Lebanon in May, 2017. Mr. T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations), MEA, visited Lebanon in May, 2019. Dr. Ausaf Sayeed, Secretary (CPV&OIA), MEA visited Lebanon from 01-04 October 2022 and called on Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lebanon Dr. Abdallah Bou Habib, and had other meetings.


7. The Lebanese Minister of Agriculture Mr. Akram Chehayeb visited India in 2016. Former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Mr. Fouad Siniora visited India at the invitation of IDSA in February 2020. During his visit he also met with External Affairs Minster Dr. S Jaishankar. A delegation headed by Director General Ministry of Agriculture of Lebanon visited India in May 2022.


8. External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar had a telephonic conversation with the Foreign Minister of Lebanon, Mr. Nasif Hitti in April 2020 and reviewed the bilateral relations.



9. MOUs/Agreements in force with Lebanon are as follows:

I. Cultural Exchange Agreement (signed in April 1997, ratified in February 2000, which is automatically renewed every 5 years).

II. MoU for an Educational Exchange Programme (signed in June 2013, valid for 5 years, to be automatically renewed every 5 years).

III. An MoU was signed between Delhi University and Lebanese University on 4th March 2021 to promote student exchange programme.

IV. The Mission assisted Trade Promotion Council of India and Association of Bekka Industrialists to sign an MoU on January 28, 2021 to promote trade between the two countries.

V. The Mission has facilitated an MoU between Apollo Group of Hospitals and Irfan Establishment on April 23, 2021.

VI. The Mission assisted to sign MOU between Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and Association of Shouf Industrialists (ASI), Lebanon on June 24, 2021.


India’s Humanitarian Assistance:

10. In the past, India provided $ 1 million ($500,000 in 2014 to Lebanon Humanitarian Fund and $500,000 in 2016 to Lebanon Response Fund) as part of India’s commitments made at the Pledging Conferences on Syria held in Kuwait in 2014 and 2015. In the aftermath of tragic explosions of August 4 in Beirut, Government of India provided immediate relief supply of medical, food and other relief materials to Lebanon on August 14. On 25 August, Ambassador handed over the consignment of medical aid, containing 70 boxes of PPEs, to Lebanon for its fight against Covid-19. On 22 December, 2020, Embassy of India, Beirut made a donation of office equipment to the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) comprising of 10 computers, 10 printers and 3 heavy duty photocopiers as part of its continuing assistance to Lebanon in light of the devastation caused by August 4 blasts in Beirut. The assistance of 05 motorbikes to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants and 05 motorbikes to Beirut Governorate was undertook during the visit of Secretary (CPV&OIA) Dr. Ausaf Sayeed.



Quick Impact Projects:

11. In the past two years the following QIPs have taken place:


QIP’s No.

Project Name


Provision of Generator set at Burghuz village in South of Lebanon.


Upgradation of Sardar Patel Complex for sports and Culture at Kawkaba village in South Lebanon.


Renovation of Mahatma Gandhi Park at Eblel Saqi municipality in South Lebenon.


Provision of Hanger for New Garbage Dump & Garbage Pressing Machine at the Kafar Chouba Village, South Lebanon.


Construction & Furnishing of Red Cross Building in Chebaa Village, South Lebenon.


Construction and Furnishing of Reception Cabin at the Mrusti al Shouf entrance of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve (SBR)


Supporting the reforestation of one hectare area within the SBR with planting of 800 small seedlings (one year old)


Donation of 05 motorbikes to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants and 05 motorbikes to Beirut Governorate

12. Organising a Jaipur Foot camp in Lebanon was announced during the visit of Secretary (CPV&OIA) to Lebanon on October 2022. The Embassy is planning to organize it soon.



13. The Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation [ITEC] programme has been popular in Lebanon since its inception in 1964. Successive batches of ITEC trainees/alumni have been actively contributing to further strengthening India-Lebanon ties. Post 2020, e-ITEC has been introduced due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and many Lebanese participants participated in e-ITEC programmes. Three Lebanese participated in 2021-22 in ITEC (civil) and 08 in ITEC (Defence). In 2022-23, 18 Lebanese have participated in various ITEC courses till now. A Defence Service Staff College (DSSC) slot was offered to the Lebanese side in 2020 and again in 2021.


Economic and Commercial Relations:

14. Total volume of trade between India and Lebanon during financial year 2021-22 was $ 345.6 million with Indian exports to Lebanon at $ 313.14 million and Indian imports from Lebanon at $32.46 million. The exports have shown more than 64% increase between 2020-21 to 2021-22. Main exports from India are chemicals, pearls, precious stones and metals, machinery, pharmaceuticals, textile articles, plastic, food items, etc., and imports from Lebanon are base metals and articles thereof, miscellaneous manufactured articles, etc. There is considerable potential of expanding trade and investment between the two countries. The Mission has undertaken a number of business promotion activities, including high-level seminars, webinars, B2B meeting etc.

15. Some Lebanese companies like M/s Khatib and Alamy, Future Pipes and Dar Al Handasah have businesses in India. An Indian company OEG has been operating two power plants in Lebanon in association with its partners. A.N. Boukhather SAL (ANB Holdings) has set up a plant to assemble 2 wheelers, adding local design features to market it in Lebanon. ANB is also interested in importing TATA trucks to Lebanese market. A Lebanese company, Benta Pharma has established its entire production line based on Indian machinery. Recently, Choueiry Group has signed a contract with Hinduja Group for bring Ashok Leyland trucks to Lebanon.

16. Lebanese businessmen participated in the IIMFT, Kolkata organized by Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry in January 2021 and again in October 2021. The Mission has been sending a Lebanese delegation to participate in Indus Food exhibition for the past 3 years. The delegation visited in January 2020, March 2021 and recently in January 2022, led by a senior officer from the Ministry of Agriculture. The Mission has sent three delegations for participation in AAHAR International Food and Hospitality Fair, International Gems and Jwellery Show, India Fashion Tex 2022 and GI Fair in 2022-23.



17. The Lebanese people have traditionally admired Indian music, films, cuisine, etc. An increasing number of them are also interested in Yoga – there has been a large and enthusiastic participation in the public events organized by the Mission to celebrate the IDY since 2015. Between 2016 and 2020 ICCR has deputed a dance teacher who trained many Lebanese youth in Indian dances and organized various events and dance workshops. Various cultural activities organized by the Mission in cooperation with universities and other local partners are extremely popular. Renowned Lebanese singer Abeer Nehme has rendered ‘Vaishnav Jan To’ to celebrate 150th Gandhi Jayanti in Beirut. ICCR has sent another dance teacher to Beirut in 2022. The dance classes are organized 5 days in a week at the Embassy premises. Dance teacher is also taking Yoga classes.

18. Commemorating the celebration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘Liban Post’, the Department of posts of Lebanon issued a stamp on Mahatma Gandhi which was formally released by the Embassy on 1 October 2019.

19. The Embassy has been organizing various cultural, educational and other activities since March 2021 to mark Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. More than 100 activities have been organized. ICCR-sponsored Chandigarh University Giddha Team visited Lebanon and performed in Saida, UNIFIL HQ and Beirut from 14-17 August 2022 as part of Iconic Week of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.

20. Prominent Lebanese Gandhian Dr. Ogarit Younan and her husband Dr. Walid Slaybi have been selected for the 2022 Jamnalal Bajaj International Award for Gandhian Work Outside India by the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation.


Lebanese-Indian Friendship Fora:

21. The Embassy works closely with several local organizations, most notably Lebanese-Indian Friendship Parliamentary Committee [LIFPC] and the Association for Development of Lebanese-Indian Relations [ADLIR], in further strengthening people-to-people contacts and cooperation in diverse sectors.

Updated in November 2022



Bilateral Relations

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