India, Qatar to hold talks: Oil, Taliban on agenda

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by ejazr, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    India, Qatar to hold talks: Oil, Taliban on agenda

    New Delhi, April 4 (IANS) India will seek to scale up its imports of oil and gas from Qatar when Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani holds talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday. New Delhi is also expected to seek an update on reports of the Taliban planning to open an office in Doha.

    India will roll out the red carpet for the visiting leader of Qatar, home to over 500,000 Indians who send home around $1 billion in remittances.

    Manmohan Singh and Qatar's emir will hold talks on a wide range of issues encompassing diverse areas, including business, energy, infrastructure and defence.

    Some pacts are expected to be signed after the talks.

    Qatar and India will "sign agreements and MoUs in key areas" during the visit, India's ambassador to Qatar Deepa Gopalan Wadhwa said in Doha.

    During the talks, India is expected to seek clarification of reports and speculation about the Taliban opening an office in Qatari capital Doha, reliable sources said.

    The issue is of vital importance in view of India's growing stakes in Afghanistan and against the backdrop of the phased pullout of the US troops from the violence-torn country.

    There has already been an agreement on the concept of opening a political office for Taliban in DohaQatar's , Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah said recently.

    He stressed on the need for successful negotiations involving all the interested parties. "For the peace process to succeed all parties should be engaged in the negotiations to arrive at a solution satisfactory to all," al-Attiyah said. "The Doha office of Taliban aims mainly at enhancing communication and negotiations among all factions."

    The visit of Qatar's emir's visit underscores India's burgeoning ties with the Gulf region, which contributes over 50 per cent of India's oil imports. The region is home to over six million Indians who send back $30 billion in remittances.

    Ahead of the visit, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said Monday said that India is keen to increase gas and crude oil imports from Qatar and the two countries are hopeful of soon working out the prices of the new supplies.

    Reddy said India imported 5.6 million tonnes of oil from Qatar in 2010-11 and was willing to increase the imports.

    India also buys 7.5 million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Qatar under a long-term contract.

    Reddy held bilateral talks with Qatari Energy and Industry Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al Sada here and requested for additional supply of oil and gas.

    India has been asking for an additional 5 million tonnes of LNG supply from Qatar, the world's largest LNG producer with an annual production capacity of 77 million tonnes.

    However, pricing remains the sticky point as Qatar has been demanding very high prices for the new supply.
     
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  3. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The Hindu : News / National : India, Qatar sign oil and gas pact

    India and Qatar on Monday signed six agreements in diverse areas, including a pact on cooperation in oil and gas exploration.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held talks with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani on a range of issues, including boosting trade and investment as well as energy ties between the two countries.

    Issues relating to the welfare of Indian workers in the Gulf country were also discussed.

    After the talks, Petroleum Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and Qatar’s Energy Minister Mohammed Bin Saleh al-Sada signed a pact on establishing a cooperative framework to enhance bilateral cooperation in oil and gas.

    The pact envisages cooperation in the areas of upstream and downstream oil and gas activities. It is expected to encourage and promote investment and cooperation between two ministries of oil and gas and through affiliated companies.

    Qatar, which holds the world’s third-largest natural gas reserves after Russia and Iran, has an LNG (liquefied natural gas) export capacity of 77 million tonnes a year.

    India buys 7.5 million tonnes of LNG from Qatar under a long-term contract. India imported 5.6 million tonnes of oil from Qatar in 2010-11 and is willing to increase the imports.

    Three agreements were signed in the fields of educational exchanges, cultural contacts and promoting tourism.

    A memorandum of agreement was signed between the Reserve Bank of India and Qatar Central Bank. The pact will establish an arrangement for sharing of supervisory information and enhancing cooperation in the area of banking supervision.

    Another pact on exchange of experiences, information and expertise in the field of legal affairs was also signed.
     
  4. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Gulf Times – Qatar’s top-selling English daily newspaper - Qatar

    India is a strategic partner of Qatar and relations with the South Asian country are very important, HE the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah has said.
    In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) yesterday, al-Attiyah said that Qatar’s keenness to further enhance relations with India is evident by the current visit of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
    “About 500,000 members of the Indian community live in Qatar and India is a major player in groupings on the Asian and international levels in view of its strategic position in Asia”, al-Attiyah said.
    “This makes it imperative to extend bridges of relations in all fields, economic, educational, cultural and political”, he said.
    Asked about his impressions concerning the Qatari-Indian meetings held here earlier yesterday and prospects of further boosting bilateral relations, the minister said that the exchange of visits on the level of the leaders of the two countries aims to consolidate the Qatari-Indian joint higher committee and further enhance bilateral relations.

    Asked about the purpose of the current Asian tour by the Emir, which includes India and the Philippines, Dr Al-Attiyah said the aim of the visits is strategic. As Qatar is an exporter of oil and gas and most of its markets exist in Asia, such visits are gaining a strategic depth, he said and stressed the importance of communication with these countries on a permanent basis.
    Al-Attiyah further said, “HH the Emir is in charge of setting and establishing the rules upon which we build the policy and vision of the State of Qatar.”
    In response to a question on the recent visit of Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rasoul to Doha and the position of Qatar vis-a-vis the situation in Afghanistan, the minister stressed the keenness of Qatar to develop relations with Afghanistan and support the peace process under way there and in the region as a whole.
    Asked about the possibility of Qatar entering as a mediator in the peace process in Afghanistan, Dr Khalid al-Attiyah said, “We know that the talks between the Taliban movement and the United States in this matter are pending at the moment at the request of the Taliban”.
    Dr al-Attiyah further said that Qatar has no role in speeding up the talks and that intervention by any third party in these talks must be approved by the two main parties.

    Sheikha Moza meets Indian minister
    HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, the Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), met at her residence in Leela Palace Hotel here Indian Minister of Human Resource Development and Minister of Communication and Information Technology Kapil Sibal.
    During the meeting, they reviewed aspects of co-operation in the fields of education, technology and communication.
     

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