External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday began a two-day visit to Qatar where he is likely to discuss trade, energy cooperation and welfare of Indians in the country.
Jaishankar will meet Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani and other dignitaries to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues.
The visit is part of India’s ongoing outreach to West Asia, which the country sees as part of its extended neighbourhood.
Jaishankar recently visited Bahrain and the UAE, while Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan travelled to Oman. General M M Naravane visited the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the first such trips by an Army Chief.
In a phone conversation on December 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, decided to create a special task force to facilitate investments by the Qatar Investment Authority in India, and to explore Qatari investments in the country’s energy value-chain.
Jaishankar will also convey India’s special gratitude to Qatar for taking care of Indian expatriates during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs said. Qatar hosts more than 700,000 Indians.
New Delhi has called on the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including Qatar, to facilitate the return of workers who had come home during the pandemic.
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