Indian Minister of External Affairs, S Jaishankar will be on a two-day visit to Qatar from today, December 27 till tomorrow, during which he will be meeting Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Qatari Deputy Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister and other important dignitaries. This is will be Jaishankar’s first visit to Qatar as External Affairs Minister.
MEA took out a statement which said, “During the visit, he will hold talks with his counterpart on bilateral issues as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest. He will convey special gratitude to the State of Qatar for taking care of Indians during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Jaishankar is expected to make the case for opening up the Gulf country to Indians, so that they can go back there to work. India constitutes as one of the biggest source countries for skilled labor and personnel in Qatar. “Both sides remain committed to intensify bilateral cooperation in various fields including energy and investments. India and Qatar have also worked together to face the COVID-19 pandemic and coordinated smooth operation of flights under an air bubble arrangement,” the MEA said.
India and Qatar have maintained close contact during the pandemic. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani have spoken thrice on the telephone in the past few months. EAM and other Cabinet Ministers have also spoken with their Qatari counterparts.
The two countries have agreed to set up a high-level task force for energy investment. India is seeking a large investment to build an energy infrastructure in the country to change its primary source of energy from coal to gas and Qatar is India’s largest supplier of natural gas and LPG.