India and Qatar Monday decided to set up a Joint Commission to strengthen their relations and regularly review all the bilateral matters, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest.
The decision was taken after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani and discussed ways to move forward on the roadmap set by the top leaders of the two countries.
It is the first ever visit of Swaraj to Doha.
The two sides have decided to establish the Joint Commission, according to a joint declaration issued after the talks.
The Joint Commission will be co-chaired by the Ministers of External Affairs and Foreign Affairs of the two countries or their representatives and may include in its membership representatives of the sectors concerned with the bilateral cooperation in both the countries, it said.
The Joint Commission will be tasked to strengthen the relations between the two countries particularly in the economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, technological, information technology and educational fields.
It will be responsible for following up the implementation of the agreements concluded between the two sides and finding suitable solutions for the resulting problems of the implementation thereof.
It will also be charged with facilitating the exchange of information and expertise and encouraging bilateral consultation in service of cooperation between the two countries.
The Commission will also hold a meeting at a time agreed by both countries alternately in each country and extraordinary session may be held at the consent of both the sides.
“The joint commission may, when necessary, form subordinate committees or permanent or temporary joint working groups to discharge specific tasks within their mandates,” the statement said.
India and Qatar share millennia old historic multi-dimensional, relations.
The bilateral visit of the Emir of Qatar in March 2015 and Prime Minister of Qatar Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani to India in December 2016 and that of the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Qatar in June 2016 have further boosted traditionally cordial and close ties between the two countries, the MEA said.
Qatar hosts about seven lakh Indians who form the largest expatriate community in the Gulf country. Qatar is a reliable energy partner, supplying more than 50 per cent of India’s natural gas imports, it said.
Swaraj’s next leg of visit would be to Kuwait with which India has close and friendly bilateral relations.