India and Qatar decided on Tuesday to set up a special task force to facilitate investments by the Qatar Investment Authority, part of India’s ongoing outreach to key West Asian states to overcome the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision was made when Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on the telephone with the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani. The two leaders also looked at potential Qatari investments in the entire energy value chain in India.
The move came ahead of an expected visit to Qatar and Kuwait by external affairs minister S Jaishankar and a trip to Oman by minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan. On Tuesday, Indian Army chief Gen MM Naravane began the first ever visit by an army chief to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.
The flurry of engagements are part of India’s current outreach to West Asia, seen as part of New Delhi’s extended neighbourhood and home to some nine million expatriates.