India and Qatar on October 29, 2018 established a joint commission to review all bilateral matters, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest. A joint declaration was issued to this effect.
The decision was taken following a meeting between Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, during former's visit to Qatar.
During the meeting, both the sides held comprehensive discussions on bilateral relations and regional and international issues.
• India and Qatar have decided to establish a joint commission to strengthen the relations between the two countries in various fields with a view to further the common interests of their people.
• The commission will be charged with the following tasks:
- Formulating the required basis to strengthen the relations between the two countries particularly in economic, commercial, cultural, scientific, technological, information technology and educational fields.
- Following up the implementation of the agreements concluded between the two countries
- Finding suitable solutions for the resulting problems of the implementation.
- Facilitating the exchange of information and expertise and encouraging bilateral consultation in service of cooperation between the two countries.
• The commission will be co-chaired by the Ministers of External Affairs and Foreign Affairs of the two countries or their representatives and may include representatives of the sectors concerned with bilateral cooperation in both the countries.
• Further, the commission will hold a meeting at a time agreed by both countries alternately in each country. Extraordinary session may be held at the consent of both the countries.
Qatar is home to around 700,000 expatriate Indians and the Gulf nation is a reliable energy partner of India, supplying more than 50 per cent of India's natural gas imports.
The India-Qatar bilateral trade stood at $9.9 billion in 2017-18.
The Indian external affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Qatar on October 28 on the first leg of her two-nation tour of West Asia that will also see her going to Kuwait.
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