Jaishankar meets Qatar’s foreign and defence ministers; discusses bilateral cooperation, regional developments

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Doha, Jun 15 (PTI) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday met Qatar’s foreign and defence ministers and discussed bilateral cooperation with them and exchanged views on global regional issues during his second visit to the key Gulf nation in a week.

Jaishankar met his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, in Doha, a day after he discussed the global and regional issues, including the security situation in the Indo-Pacific region, with Kenya’s top leadership.

'Good to meet DPM & FM @MBA_AlThani of Qatar in Doha today. Appreciated Qatar's solidarity during the Covid second wave. Discussed our bilateral cooperation and exchanged views on regional issues,' he tweeted.

Later, he met another Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah and discussed global and regional developments with him.

'Pleasure seeing Qatar DPM & MoS Defence @kbmalattiya again. Valued our discussion on global and regional developments. Committed to strengthening our bilateral partnership,' Jaishankar tweeted.

Interestingly, Jaishankar's visit to Doha comes in the midst of major developments in Afghanistan where the US military is getting ready to exit the war-torn nation before September 11.

The US and the Taliban signed a landmark deal in Doha on February 29, 2020 after multiple rounds of negotiations to bring lasting peace in war-torn Afghanistan and allow US troops to return home from America's longest war.

India, a major stakeholder in the peace and stability of Afghanistan, has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.

On his way to Kuwait, Jaishankar had a brief stopover in Doha on June 9 during which he met Qatar's National Security Advisor Mohamed Bin Ahmed Al Mesned and thanked him for the Gulf nation's support and solidarity in India’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

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

Jaishankar arrived here from Kenya where he was on a three-day visit to strengthen India's relations with the major East African country. He called on Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and handed over a letter from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to him.

Before visiting Kenya, Jaishankar travelled to Kuwait on Thursday on his first bilateral visit to the oil-rich Gulf country.

He held 'productive discussions' with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Sabah on Thursday during which the two sides discussed a range of issues including health, food, education, energy, digital, and business cooperation. PTI MRJ/ZH AKJ ZH ZH

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