India-Qatar ties growing stronger: PM Modi

Stresses on collaboration in futuristic sectors

Doha: Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed satisfaction with the increasingly robust India-Qatar relations, emphasizing mutual interest in advancing collaboration across futuristic sectors.

His remarks followed discussions with Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, occurring shortly after Qatar’s decision to release eight former Indian Navy personnel previously sentenced to death.

PM Modi described his meeting with the Emir as “wonderful” and said ways to deepen cooperation across various sectors were discussed.

“Had a wonderful meeting with HH Sheikh @TamimBinHamad. We reviewed the full range of India-Qatar relations and discussed ways to deepen cooperation across various sectors. Our nations also look forward to collaborating in futuristic sectors which will benefit our planet,” Modi said on ‘X”.

The discussions centred around bolstering bilateral relations, with a focus on deepening cooperation in areas of trade and investment, energy, space, cultural and people-to-people ties.

“India and Qatar ties are growing stronger and stronger!,” Modi said in another post along with photographs of ceremonial welcome accorded to him in Doha.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson RandhirJaiswal described the meeting between Modi and the Emir as “productive” and said the prime minister thanked the Qatari leader for the welfare of the Indian community in that country.

Modi arrived in this Qatari capital city last night after concluding a two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates.

“The two leaders held wide-ranging discussions on bolstering bilateral relations, with a focus on deepening trade & investment, energy, space, cultural & people to people ties,” Jaiswal said on ‘X’.

“They also exchanged perspectives on regional and global issues. PM thanked Amir for the welfare of the Indian community in Qatar,” he said.

Shortly after his arrival in Doha last night, Modi met Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. Abdulrahman is Qatar’s foreign minister as well.

“The two leaders exchanged views on expanding bilateral cooperation in sectors such as trade, investment, energy, finance, and technology,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

“They also discussed recent regional developments in West Asia and emphasized the importance of upholding peace and stability in the region and beyond,” it said.

Following the meeting, the Qatari prime minister hosted a dinner for Modi.

The Indian prime minister’s second visit to Qatar came days after Qatar released the Indians.

The Navy veterans were on October 26 given death sentences by Qatar’s Court of First Instance. The Court of Appeal in the Gulf nation on December 28 commuted the capital punishment and sentenced them to jail terms for varying durations.

In December, PM Modi had met the Qatari Amir on the sidelines of the COP28 Summit in Dubai and discussed the “well-being of the Indian community” in Qatar.

The former Indian Navy personnel apparently faced charges of espionage, but neither the Qatari authorities nor New Delhi made the charges against them public.

The trade and energy ties between India and Qatar are on an upswing.

Qatar is the largest supplier of LNG to India, accounting for over 48 per cent of India’s global LNG imports.

India’s Petronet has renewed a contract to buy 7.5 million tonnes of LNG from Qatar annually from 2029 for 20 years and it is being billed as the largest-ever extension of super-chilled fuel in the world.

The original 25-year deal was signed in 1999 and supplies started in 2004.

India-Qatar cooperation has been steadily growing in diverse sectors over the last few years.

Prime Minister Modi paid his first visit to Doha in June, 2016.

The visit provided an opportunity to both sides to engage at the highest level, and impart fresh momentum to the bilateral ties. It was the highest level visit from India to Qatar since the visit of then prime ministerManmohan Singh in November 2008. (Agencies)

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