Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani will visit India on December 3 and hold discussions with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of common interest.
With Qatar being the largest supplier of LNG to India, the two leaders are also likely to discuss ways to enhance cooperation in the strategic areas of energy.
Announcing the visit, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Sheikh Abdullah, also the country’s interior minister, is coming to India at the invitation of Modi and the two leaders will hold discussions “on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues of common interest”.
This is the first visit of Sheikh Abdullah to India and the third high-level bilateral engagement between the two countries in the past two years, which underlines India’s growing ties with Qatar.
The visit of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to India in March 2015 was followed by visit of Prime Minister Modi to Qatar this June.
“Our close and friendly relations with Qatar are based on mutually beneficial commercial exchanges and extensive people- to-people contacts.
“Qatar is not only an important trading partner for us in the Gulf region but is also the largest supplier of LNG to us, accounting for 66 per cent of our total imports in 2015-16,” Swarup said.
He further said Indians form the largest expatriate community in Qatar and their positive contribution in the progress and development of their host country is well recognised.
There are over 630,000 Indian nationals working in Qatar.