New Delhi. [India], Dec. 4 : Underlining India's growing ties with Qatar, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said India's relations with Qatar are deep-rooted in history and have been nurtured by active contacts through trade and commerce ties over centuries.
Welcoming the Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani to India, the President said the third high-level visit in two years highlights the importance that both countries attach to strengthening their bilateral relations.
"India accords very high importance to relations with countries in the Gulf, which is its extended neighbourhood and sees Qatar as a key interlocutor in the Gulf and Arab world," President Mukherjee said.
The President further said the two countries should identify opportunities to make trade more broad-based and balanced.
"Indian companies are willing to be partners in infrastructure development being undertaken by Qatar in preparation for the FIFA 2022 World Cup and Qatar's development plans under 'Vision 2030' for Qatar," he said.
Expressing its keenness to expand relations with India, the Qatar Prime Minister said he had good discussions with the Indian Prime Minister and India is a strategic partner.
In the past two years, this is the first visit of Sheikh Abdullah to India and the third high-level bilateral engagement between the two.