India-Qatar relations soar as PM Modi plans key visit following Navy personnel’s release

Following the release of eight Indian Navy men who were held hostage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has scheduled a visit to Qatar for February 14th in order to further deepen his relationship with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

India is celebrating the release of eight Indian Navy personnel who had been held captive in Qatar for about eighteen months. After this achievement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to go for a significant visit to Doha on February 14, when he will further his relationship with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar.

The visit by PM Modi was announced by the Ministry of External Affairs, which emphasised its significance following the release of the Navy personnel who had been jailed since August 2022. Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra stressed that the visit offers a chance to expand and fortify the two countries’ diverse partnership.


PM Modi previously visited Qatar in June 2016, therefore this is his second visit there. The Foreign Secretary emphasised the strengthening relations between Qatar and India, citing high-level visits by Vice Presidents Jagdeep Dhankhar and Venkaiah Naidu in November and June of 2022, respectively.

In recent times, there has been a flourishing bilateral connection between India and Qatar that includes political relationships, commerce and investment, energy alliances, and collaboration in the areas of culture, education, and security. Presently, there is about USD 20 billion in bilateral commerce, and Qatar has become a major investor in India in several different areas.

The strong energy cooperation between Qatar and India was emphasised by the recent deal between QatarEnergy and Petronet, which calls for the supply of 7.5 million metric tonnes of LNG annually from Qatar to India for 20 years, beginning in 2028.

After intensive diplomatic efforts by India, the imprisoned Navy veterans were released. They were accused of allegedly spying on a submarine programme. Before the COP28 conference in Dubai, PM Modi met with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, the Emir of Qatar, which cleared the way for talks about bilateral relations and the welfare of the Indian minority in Qatar.