Prime Minister Narendra Modi in whirlwind UAE and Qatar visit

Team India Sentinels Wednesday 14th of February 2024 11:40 PM

Narendra Modi (L) with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. (Photo: X/@narendramodi)

New Delhi: The prime minister, Narendra Modi, landed in Qatar on a two-day visit after completing his whirlwind trip to the United Arab Emirates, on Wednesday. During his UAE visit, which he started on Tuesday, he addressed the World Government Summit in Dubai, inaugurated the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, and held bilateral talks with the UAE’s vice-president and prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

In his World Government Summit address, on Tuesday, Modi emphasized on the importance of technology and innovation in tackling global challenges, like climate change and poverty. Modi’s bilateral talks with Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum focused on strengthening bilateral cooperation in areas like energy security, trade, and investment.

A key highlight of the visit was the inauguration of the BAPS Hindu Mandir in Abu Dhabi, considered the first-ever traditional Hindu temple in the UAE. This landmark project, symbolizing religious tolerance and cultural exchange, was welcomed by both the Indian expat and the local communities. The inauguration of the temple also signifies growing cultural and religious understanding between the two nations.

It may be noted that it was Modi’s seventh visit to the country.

From the UAE, Modi reached Qatar on Wednesday. This is the first high-level official visit from India in the emirate in six years. He met with Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, where discussions focused on expanding cooperation in energy, investments, and security. Both leaders committed to strengthening their strategic partnership, acknowledging the growing importance of Qatar as a reliable energy supplier for India.

The visit, which was Modi’s second in Qatar, also saw the signing of several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) covering a range of areas, like cybersecurity, culture, and education. The two sides agreed to explore joint ventures in areas like healthcare, infrastructure, and technology.

It may be recalled that the prime minister’s visit to Qatar comes within two days of the emirate announcing the release of the eight former Indian Navy men who were sentenced to death by a Qatari court purportedly on espionage charges.

Modi’s visit to the Gulf nations underscores the increasing importance of the region for India's energy security and economic growth. The UAE and Qatar are major suppliers of oil and gas to India, accounting for a significant portion of its energy needs. Moreover, the region offers lucrative investment opportunities for Indian businesses in various sectors.

The prime minister is scheduled to return to India on Thursday.


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