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PM Modi thanks Qatar's Amir for release of Indian Navy personnel, invites him to India

The PM met with Qatar's Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Thursday and held wide-ranging discussions on bolstering bilateral relations. PM Modi also met Father Amir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, who affirmed that India and Qatar share an unwavering bond epitomised by mutual trust and cooperation.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Doha Updated on: February 15, 2024 18:47 IST
PM Modi in Qatar, Qatar Amir, Indian Navy personnel released
Image Source : PTI PM Modi meets Qatar's Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha on Thursday.

PM Modi in Qatar: During the second day of his visit to Qatar on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep appreciation to Qatari Amir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the release of eight Indian Navy personnel earlier sentenced to death on espionage charges, and thanked him for looking after the welfare of the Indian community, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) today.

This came as PM Modi met Qatar's Father Amir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani in Doha today, and congratulated him on his visionary leadership that paved the way for Qatar's development over the past decades, said the MEA. The two leaders held discussions on India-Qatar relations, where the PM conveyed his appreciation for the insightful observations of Father Amir on regional and global developments. Father Amir affirmed that India and Qatar share an unwavering bond epitomised by mutual trust and cooperation.

Addressing a special briefing, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said, "PM was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Amiri Diwan where His Highness Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani received him... The two leaders thereafter held detailed discussions... The topics of discussion included a wide range of areas of bilateral cooperation including trade partnership, investment cooperation, energy partnership, issues engaged in regional security, cultural affinity, and people-to-people ties."

The Secretary further said that the two leaders spoke about the need for strategic investments and strategic partnerships in the field of energy and technology, while discussing matters of regional and international importance. PM Modi also extended an invitation for Qatar's Amir to visit India.

"The Prime Minister's visit to Qatar is focused on consolidating the wide-ranging partnership that India and Qatar have across different fields of economic cooperation," Kwatra added, saying that the Amir and PM Modi have laid a foundation for what the two countries can achieve in the years ahead under their leadership.

PM Modi's arrival in Doha

PM Modi arrived in this Qatari capital city last night after concluding a highly successful two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates. He received a ceremonial welcome and met with the Amir of Qatar in Doha on the second day of his official visit to Qatar, where they held wide-ranging discussions on bolstering bilateral relations, with a focus on deepening trade and investment, energy, space, cultural and people-to-people ties.

Shortly after his arrival, 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.

Qatari PM hosted dinner for PM Modi

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, Prime Minister Modi met the Qatari Amir on the sidelines of the COP28 Summit in Dubai and discussed the "well-being of the Indian community" in Qatar. PM Modi paid his first visit to Doha in June 2016.

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.

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | PM Modi holds 'wonderful' meeting with Qatari counterpart after 8 Indian Navy veterans released I WATCH

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