India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday met Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani and discussed ways to move forward on the roadmap set by the top leaders of the two countries.
Swaraj arrived here on Sunday on the first leg of her four-day visit to Qatar and Kuwait.
“EAM @SushmaSwaraj called on Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. Recalled with fondness the visit of Emir to India in March 2015 that was reciprocated by PM Modi in June 2016 & discussed ways to move forward on the roadmap set by the leaders,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Kumar on Sunday said that this is the first-ever visit by an Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) to Qatar.
Swaraj will also interact with the Indian community in Doha during her two-day stay on October 28 and 29, it said.
The visit is in pursuit of India’s objective of enhanced engagement with the Gulf region which is in India’s extended neighbourhood, the MEA said. India and Qatar share millennia old historic multi-dimensional, relations.
The bilateral visit of the Emir of Qatar in March 2015 and Prime Minister of Qatar Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani to India in December 2016 and that of the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Qatar in June 2016 have further boosted traditionally cordial and close ties between the two countries, the MEA said.
Qatar hosts about seven lakh Indians who form the largest expatriate community there. Qatar is a reliable energy partner, supplying more than 50 per cent of India’s natural gas imports, it said.
Swaraj’s next leg of visit would be to Kuwait with which India has close and friendly bilateral relations.