Today's Paper

India signs defence pact with Qatar

Sandeep Dikshit

Joint maritime security planned

Agreement on security and law enforcement too

Prime Minister meets Qatar counterpart, Emir

DOHA: On the first-ever visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the hydrocarbon-rich Qatar, India has sought surplus funds from that country to sustain the flow of investments at a time of global credit squeeze, and signed two agreements relating to defence and law enforcement.

Describing the defence agreement with Qatar as a “landmark,” officials said on Monday that it would “lay out a structure for joint maritime security and training as well as exchange of visits.”

Another agreement on security and law enforcement would “lay out the framework for sharing of information and database on threats posed by extremists” and seek to check money laundering and transnational crime.

Although an agreement on supplying additional liquefied natural gas could not be inked, both sides opened discussions in a new area of mutual investments in line with India’s recently adopted strategy of lessening dependence on foreign financial institutions.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al Thani on Sunday evening and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani on Monday.

During the first leg of his tour, Dr. Singh sought direct investments from Oman for the infrastructure sector with both sides agreeing on a $100 million fund that would inject funds in projects to indicate their genuineness and credibility.

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