Jaishankar on two-day visit to Qatar from December 27

Jaishankar on two-day visit to Qatar from December 27

The minister will convey "special gratitude" to Qatar for taking care of Indians during the Covid-19 pandemic, said MEA

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Credit: PTI Photo

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will undertake a two-day visit to Qatar beginning Sunday during which he will hold talks with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani and other important dignitaries.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made an announcement about Jaishankar's visit to the Gulf nation.

"S Jaishankar's visit to Qatar will be his first visit to the country as external affairs minister. During the visit, he will hold talks with his counterpart on bilateral issues as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest," the MEA said.

It said the minister will convey "special gratitude" to Qatar for taking care of Indians during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"During the visit, he is scheduled to meet the Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani. He will also call on other important dignitaries of the State of Qatar," the MEA said.

India and Qatar have maintained close high-level contacts during the pandemic.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Amir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani have spoken thrice on telephone in the past few months. External Affairs Minister and other cabinet ministers have also spoken with their Qatari counterparts," the MEA said.

Qatar is home to over seven lakh Indians. The bilateral trade was USD 10.95 billion in 2019-20, according to official data.

"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.