Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would travel to Doha, the capital of Qatar, on February 14, after concluding his two-day visit to the United Arab Emirates. The official said that strengthening connections between the two nations is the goal of the visit. The PM’s visit was announced one day after the Gulf state freed eight former Indian naval sailors who had been detained there on suspicion of espionage. They were given the death penalty by a Qatari court in October 2023.
“On February 14, the PM will fly to Doha, Qatar, in the afternoon after concluding his visit to the United Arab Emirates. PM Modi will have bilateral meetings with the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad, and other prominent Qatari figures when he is there. The source said, “Strong bilateral trade between India and Qatar currently stands at $20 billion. This will be the PM’s second visit to Qatar.”
On Sunday, seven of the eight ex-naval officers who were freed came back home. Many BJP officials, including Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, have said that Prime Minister Modi personally oversaw the events that made sure Indians returned home safely.
“We appreciate them coming back. We are really grateful that the Amir and the government of Qatar decided to free them. The return of seven of those Indian nationals makes us pleased. The eighth Indian citizen has also been freed, and we are still in contact with the Qatari administration to determine when he may travel to his own country. The Prime Minister has personally overseen every development in this issue and has never refrained from taking any action to guarantee the repatriation of Indian people to their homes,” he said.
The foreign secretary added that in-depth talks aimed at strengthening bilateral ties are planned between Modi and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar.
The Indians returned forty-six days after their death sentences in October were commuted to jail terms. The eight people seemed to be charged with espionage, but neither New Delhi nor the Qatari government revealed the exact allegations made against them.