Manmohan Singh calls on Emir of Qatar in Doha

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Qatar, Nov 10 : Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is on a three-day visit to Gulf countries met ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani on Monday.

Singh spoke to Thani about wide-range of issues including economic, commercial and energy ties between the two countries.

Leaders of both the nations also discussed measures to tackle global recession and also talked about bilateral trade and cooperation. Supply of natural gas was another subject, which came up for discussion.

Sources said that the meeting was fruitful as far as strengthening bi-lateral trade and cooperation is concerned.

Earlier, India and Qatar signed agreements on defence and security in an attempt to further bilateral ties.

Union Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, Planning Commission Chief Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Junior External Affairs Minister E Ahmed, National Security Advisor M. K. Narayanan and N Ravi, Secretary (East) in India's Ministry of External Affairs are also accompanying the Prime Minister.

Sources say that India and Qatar are likely to review their energy cooperation policies and sign an important agreement on petroleum and gas front with India's Oil and Petroleum Minister, Murli Deora.

Deora is scheduled to have a high level meeting with his counterpart Abdullah bin Hamad al Attiyah to discuss the possibility of Qatar providing an additional 2.5 million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to meet the growing demand of India.

With the third-largest gas reserves in the world, Qatar is the world's largest exporter of LNG and aims to boost capacity to 77 million tonnes per year by 2010, up from around 38 million tonnes now.

Qatar's average oil production is 840000 barrels per day. The main emphasis at present is on exploiting massive gas reserves of 900 trillion cu ft --the third largest in the world. These reserves will be enough to support the planned production of natural gas for over 200 years.

ANI

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