PM Modi meets Qatar counterpart, days after release of Indian Navy veterans | World News - Hindustan Times
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PM Modi meets Qatar counterpart, days after release of jailed Indian Navy veterans

Feb 15, 2024 01:57 PM IST

This comes days after eight former Indian Navy veterans who had been sentenced to death in Qatar on espionage charges were released.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, upon his arrival in Qatar's Doha on Wednesday night, held talks with his counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani to explore avenues for strengthening the relationship between New Delhi and Doha.

PM Narendra Modi meets Qatar's Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. (X/NarendraModi)
PM Narendra Modi meets Qatar's Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. (X/NarendraModi)

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Modi said, “Had a wonderful meeting with PM @MBA_AlThani_. Our discussions revolved around ways to boost India-Qatar friendship.”

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The scheduled meeting comes days after eight former Indian Navy veterans, who were sentenced to death in Qatar on espionage charges, were released. The ministry of external affairs said on Monday that the eight veterans had been freed at the command of Qatar's PM, representing a notable diplomatic achievement for India. Almost all of the ex-naval personnel were back home by Monday, putting an end to the widespread conjecture surrounding their status after being detained.

In Photos: PM Modi receives warm welcome from Indian diaspora as he arrives in Doha

The MEA said the meeting involved a discussion between the two leaders on broadening bilateral collaboration across various sectors including trade, investment, energy, finance, and technology, news agency ANI reported.

Additionally, Modi and Al-Thani deliberated on recent developments in West Asia and spoke about the significance of maintaining peace and stability in the region.

In a statement, Qatar's ministry of foreign affairs said, “Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani met Wednesday with HE Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi, who is visiting the country. During the meeting, they discussed cooperation relations between the two friendly countries and ways to support and develop them, especially in the fields of energy, commerce and investment.”

Modi was also invited to a dinner in his honour by Qatar's Prime Minister.

MEA spokesperson Randir Jaiswal posted on X, “Furthering India - Qatar partnership! PM @narendramodi held a fruitful meeting with HH @MBA_AlThani_, PM & FM of Qatar in Doha. Discussions covered expanding bilateral cooperation in sectors such as trade & investment, energy, finance among others.”

Upon his arrival in Qatar on Wednesday night, following the conclusion of his visit to the UAE, PM Modi was greeted at the airport by the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Qatar, Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi.

Read Here: How Indian Navy veterans, released by Qatar, reacted after arriving in Delhi

Outside his hotel in Qatar, Modi received a warm welcome from the Indian diaspora, with people waving Indian Tricolours and chanting "Modi Modi" and "Bharat Mata Ki Jai." PM Modi greeted the crowd, shaking hands with them and accepting gifts such as books. The enthusiastic crowd also took pictures of the Prime Minister as he interacted with them.

Qatar releases ex-Indian Navy personnel

In December of the last year, the Court of Appeal in Qatar announced the death sentences of the individuals — Captains Navtej Gill and Saurabh Vasisht, Commanders Purnendu Tiwari, Amit Nagpal, SK Gupta, BK Verma, and Sugunakar Pakala, along with sailor Ragesh — to prison terms ranging from three to 25 years.

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