IANS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Indian diaspora in Qatar and said that he is "grateful" to the community as he arrived in Doha after concluding a whirlwind two-day trip to the UAE.

He arrived here late on Wednesday

After June 2016, this is Modi's second visit to the country, home to roughly 8,40,000 Indians.

"An exceptional welcome in Doha! Grateful to the Indian diaspora," the PM posted on X along with pictures of him being greeted by Indian community members.

He said in an earlier statement that the presence of the strong Indian community in Doha is "a testament to our strong people-to-people ties".

On his arrival, he was received by Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, and proceeded to meet his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

The two leaders discussed ways to boost friendship between the two countries.

"Had a wonderful meeting with PM @MBA_AlThani. Our discussions revolved around ways to boost India-Qatar friendship," Modi wrote on X.

The External Affairs Ministry said that the PM held "a fruitful meeting" with the Qatari PM with their discussions covering expanding bilateral cooperation in sectors such as trade & investment, energy, and finance among others.

On Thursday, PM Modi is expected to meet the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and hold talks on bilateral as well as regional and global issues.

Bilateral trade between India and Qatar currently stands at roughly $20 billion, and Qatar is also a significant investor in India across a whole range of economies.

The visit is timely as it comes just after the release of eight ex-Indian Navy personnel who were sentenced to death on espionage charges by Qatar last year.

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They were employees of the Doha-based company Dahra Global and were taken into custody in August 2022.

They were identified as Captain Navtej Singh Gill, Captain Birendra Kumar Verma, Captain Saurabh Vasisht, Commander Amit Nagpal, Commander Purnendu Tiwari, Commander Sugunakar Pakala, Commander Sanjeev Gupta, and Sailor Rajesh.

The appellate court in Qatar in December last year commuted their death sentence to imprisonment ranging between three years and 25 years.

(Except for the headline, this story, from a syndicated feed, has not been edited by Odishatv.in staff)

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