Abu Dhabi, February 14: After concluding his two-day UAE visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emplaned for Qatar, for the second leg of his two-nation visit. In Doha, PM Modi will hold bilateral meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as the Ministry of External Affairs had announced earlier.

This visit assumes significance as it comes days after a diplomatic victory for India following the release of eight ex-Indian Navy personnel who were detained in Qatar for nearly 18 months since August 2022. Earlier in the day, PM Modi inaugurated the majestic Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) Mandir, the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, UAE. UAE Won Hearts of 140 Crore Indians, Says PM Narendra Modi After Inaugurating BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi (Watch Videos).

PM Modi departs for Qatar

"From UAE after completing his visit on February 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Doha, Qatar on February 14. During the visit, PM Modi will hold bilateral meetings with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and other high dignitaries in Qatar," Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said earlier while addressing a special briefing on PM Modi's visits.

The Foreign Secretary also said that PM Modi's visit would provide an opportunity for leaders to discuss ways to further deepen and strengthen the multifaceted partnership. "PM Modi's visit to Qatar will provide an opportunity for the top leadership of the two countries to discuss ways to further deepen and strengthen our multifaceted partnership as well as exchange views on different regional and international issues of mutual importance," Kwatra noted. BAPS Hindu Mandir Inauguration: PM Narendra Modi’s Visit Indicates Depth of India-UAE Friendship and Cooperation, Says United Arab Emirates Minister.

The foreign secretary also highlighted that this will be the second visit of PM Modi to Qatar, with the last one taking place in June 2016. Emphasising the growing ties between India and Qatar, the Foreign Secretary mentioned high-level visits to Qatar.

"There have been several high-level exchanges between India and Qatar in recent years. You would recall the visit of Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar to Doha in November 2022, as also the visit of then Vice President Venkaiah Naidu in June 2022. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has also undertaken multiple visits to Qatar in the last 3 to 4 years," the Foreign Secretary also said.

The relationship between the two countries has grown multifaceted with robust energy partnership and collaboration in culture, education, and security. The bilateral trade currently stands at approximately USD 20 billion, with Qatar emerging as a significant investor across various sectors in India.

"The bilateral relationship between India and Qatar that has been steadily growing includes a comprehensive span, including political ties, trade and investment linkages, a strong energy partnership and ties in the field of culture, education and security," he said, adding, "Strong bilateral trade between India and Qatar currently stands at roughly USD 20 bn and Qatar is also a significant investor in India across the whole range of economies."

Specifically mentioning the recent agreement between QatarEnergy and India's Petronet for the supply of 7.5 million metric tons per year of LNG from Qatar to India for a duration of 20 years, starting in 2028, Kwatra said, " You'd be aware following the recently concluded India Energy Week, QatarEnergy and India's Petronet had signed an agreement for the supply of 7.5 million metric tons per year of LNG from Qatrar to India for 20 years starting 2028".

The large Indian diaspora in Qatar, numbering around 840,000, was underscored as a vital connection between the two nations. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on the sidelines of the COP28 summit in Dubai and discussed bilateral partnership and the "well-being of the Indian community" living in Qatar.

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