External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is positioned to be a first-time guest of two Gulf countries between October 28-31 at the invitation of her counterparts. She will have engagements in Qatar from October 28-29 and in Kuwait on October 30-31.
On her visit to the State of Qatar, Swaraj will hold interactions with her counterpart H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar. She will also call on His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar.
The largest expatriate community in the region, Qatar hosts about seven lakh Indians and as a part of her visit, Swaraj is committed to interacting with the Indian community settled in Doha.
India-Qatar has overtime shared a historic, well-grounded and multi-dimensional association. The visits of His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar in March 2015 and His Excellency Prime Minister of Qatar to India in December 2016 and that of PM Modi to Qatar in June 2016 have only intensified this amiable relationship. The State of Qatar has been a dependable energy resource partner to India with an import of over 50% of natural gas flow into the country. The bilateral trade with Qatar in 2017-18 counted up-to US$ 9.9 billion.
Following Qatar, the next leg of her visit will be extended to Kuwait where Swaraj will hold a bilateral meeting with her counterpart His Excellency Sheikh Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait. She will call on His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The State of Kuwait, too, encompasses the largest expatriate community with ten lakh Indians, and Swaraj plans to interact with the Indian community residing there.
The bilateral trade with Kuwait in 2017-18 was US$ 8.5 billion. Through these visits, India pursuits towards an augmented engagement with the extended neighbors. These visits intent to deepen the discussions on political front on issues ranging from global, regional and bilateral.