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Sushma Swaraj discusses welfare of Indian workers with Qatar Foreign Minister

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed bilateral relations.

By: ANI | New Delhi |
August 26, 2017 8:33:48 pm
 Qatar, India,External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj,Qatari Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Indian workers in Qatar, Qatar-India relations External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in New Delhi on Saturday. (Source: PTI)

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday met Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in New Delhi and discussed bilateral relations and welfare of Indian workers in the gas-rich Gulf nation.

“EAM @SushmaSwaraj welcomes Mr. Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Foreign Minister of Qatar on his visit to India,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted along with a picture of the two leaders.

“Bilateral issues, including welfare of Indian workers in Qatar were discussed,” he said. There are around 630,000 expatriate Indians in Qatar, many of whom are blue collar workers in the country’s construction sector.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed bilateral relations.

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The visit of Sheikh Mohamed assumes much significance as it comes amid the worst diplomatic crisis engulfing GCC in recent times, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and Egypt in June announced the snapping of diplomatic ties with Qatar for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and ties with Iran.

Sushma Swaraj had termed that the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and other Gulf nations is an “internal matter” and said that India was mainly concerned about the Indians who may get stranded due to the snapping of diplomatic and transportation links between the countries.

“There is no challenge arising out of this for us. This is an internal matter of GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council). Our only concern is about Indians there. We are trying to find out if any Indians are stuck there,” Swaraj has said.

In July, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson signed a memorandum of understanding on combating financing terrorism with Qatar and said that the U.S. will extend support to Kuwait to find a solution to the ongoing conflict between Qatar and Gulf.

Meanwhile, Qatar has rejected a list of 13 conditions set by four Arab states for lifting sanctions, saying it is neither reasonable nor actionable.

Qatar is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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