PM Modi arrives in Doha, to meet with Emir of Qatar

Doha, Feb 14 (PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Wednesday evening for a crucial meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to further develop the historically close and friendly relations between the two countries.

This is Modi’s second visit to Qatar as the prime minister since 2014.

Modi reached Doha after a whirlwind two-day trip to the UAE, where he addressed a well-attended Indian diaspora event, the prestigious World Governments Summit, and also inaugurated UAE’s first Hindu stone temple among other engagements.

Before he departed from New Delhi on Tuesday, Modi, in a statement said, he was looking forward to meeting Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, “under whose leadership Qatar continues to witness tremendous growth and transformation.” India and Qatar enjoy historically close and friendly relations and the multi-faceted ties between the two countries have continued to deepen in recent years, he pointed out.

India’s announcement on Modi’s visit to the Qatari capital came on Monday, hours after seven out of eight jailed former Indian Navy personnel returned home, nearly three-and-half months after a Qatari court handed them a death sentence that was subsequently commuted to jail terms ranging from three to 25 years.

Qatar released all the eight Indians.

The former Indian Navy personnel apparently faced charges of espionage, but neither the Qatari authorities nor New Delhi made the charges against them public.

Modi, in his departure statement, also said the presence of over 8,00,000-strong Indian community in Doha is a “testament to our strong people-to-people ties.” Besides holding talks with the Amir, Modi is scheduled to meet other high dignitaries in Qatar as well.

Earlier in the evening, after Modi “successfully concluded” his UAE visit, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Saif B Zayed accorded him a warm send-off.

“PM @narendramodi successfully concludes his visit to the UAE, setting another landmark in the ever-deepening India-UAE partnership. UAE DPM & Minister of Interior, HH @SaifBZayed accorded a warm send-off to PM at the airport,” Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) posted on X along with photographs.

Before embarking on his flight to Doha, Modi posted on X from his official handle: “During this UAE visit, I got to be a part of a wide range of programmes, which have boosted India-UAE friendship and deepened the cultural connect between our nations. I am glad to have addressed the @WorldGovSummit and talked about our efforts to make our planet better. I thank the Government and people of UAE for their warm hospitality.” PTI NPK AKJ NPK NPK

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