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MEA Announces PM Modi’s Qatar Visit, ‘Deeply Appreciates’ Doha’s Move To Release 8 Indian Navy Veterans – News18

Last Updated: February 12, 2024, 16:27 IST

Foreign Secretary announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Qatar after concluding his UAE visit. (Image: PTI/File)

Foreign Secretary thanks Qatar for releasing Indian ex-Navy veterans. Announces Modi’s visit to Qatar after UAE trip

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra on Monday thanked the Qatari government and its Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on the release of eight Indian ex-Navy veterans from Qatar.

Speaking at a press conference here, Kwatra also announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Qatar this week after concluding his UAE trip where he will inaugurate the BAPS Hindu Temple in Abu Dhabi. “We are grateful for their return. We deeply appreciate the decision of Qatar’s government and the Emir to release them. We are happy to have seven of those Indian nationals back,” the Foreign Secretary said during the presser of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Kwatra said the eighth Indian national has also been released and India continues to work with the Qatar government to see how quickly his return to India would be possible. “Prime Minister has himself personally constantly supervised all the developments in this case and has never shied away from any initiatives that would ensure the return of Indian nationals back to home,” he added.

During the press conference, the Foreign Secretary also spoke on Modi’s Qatar visit. After completing his UAE visit, on February 14, the Prime Minister will travel to Doha, Kwatra said. During the visit PM Modi will hold bilateral with the Emir of Qatar and other high-level dignitaries of the country. “This will be PM’s second visit to Qatar…strong bilateral trade between India and Qatar, currently stands at $20 Billion,” he added.

PM Modi’s visit comes amid reports that the early December talks in Dubai between him and the Emir of Qatar set the ball rolling for the release of eight Indian Navy veterans. This was confirmed by Union Minister G Kishan Reddy who revealed that PM Modi’s intervention was key to the release of Indian Navy personnel. “I would like to thank PM Narendra Modi,” he said.

When asked about the number of Indian prisoners in UAE, Qatar and other countries, the Foreign Secretary said, ” Govt of India has extensive mechanisms in place counsellor dialogues and discussions involving the Indian system and the systems in those countries.” He said one of the principal tasks is to keep working towards the early release of all the Indian prisoners irrespective of which country they are. “There are also established mechanisms and systems in place which ensure that whatever assistance wherever possible is to be made available to these prisoners, is made available through govt mechanisms. These are the systems which have been strengthened enormously, whose remit has been expanded extensively,” he added.

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