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PM Modi to strengthen ‘deep connect’ with diaspora: Foreign Secy

Updated: Feb 12th, 2024

As part of his two-nation tour to the UAE and Qatar beginning Feb 12, prime minister Narendra Modi will strengthen India’s ‘deep connect’ with its diaspora in both countries.

Roughly 8.4 lakh Indians reside in Qatar, and at 35 lakh, the community forms the largest expatriate group in the UAE, forming an ‘important connect’ between the host and mother countries.

A day before inaugurating the BAPS Mandir, the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi on Feb 14, the PM will address the Indian community at an event in Zayed Sports City.

“On (the) 13th itself, the prime minister will be addressing a community event in Abu Dhabi to further strengthen our deep connect with our diaspora family in the UAE,” foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said at a special ministry of external affairs briefing today.

PM Modi’s visits to the middle-east

Marking his seventh visit to the nation since 2015, the PM will hold bilateral meetings with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE, and discuss ways to further deepen, expand, and strengthen the strategic partnership between the countries.

Kwatra said that a “strong diaspora is an equally important connect between India and Qatar.”

He added that the PM’s second visit to Qatar on Feb 14 “will provide an opportunity for the top leadership of the two countries to discuss ways to further deepen and strengthen our multifaceted partnership as well as exchange views on different regional and international issues of mutual importance”.

Former Indian naval officers’ release in Qatar

Modi’s visit to Qatar was announced hours after the release of eight Indian former naval officers, detained in the country since August 2022 and sentenced to death by Qatar’s Court of First Instance on Oct 26 last year.

Kwatra added that PM Modi 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”.

While the visit to the UAE was announced days in advance, the trip to Qatar was announced just after seven navy veterans landed in India today.

Asked by reporters about this, Kwatra said that the PM’s visits are planned and scheduled months in advance.

(Source: IANS)

- Edited for style

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