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India, Qatar to share intel to combat hawala, terror financing

Modi and Sheikh Tamim highlighted the need to isolate sponsors and supporters of terrorism.

Published: 06th June 2016 02:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2016 08:05 AM   |  A+A-

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PM Modi and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani during the delegation level talks at Emiri Diwan in Doha, Qatar. | PTI

By PTI

DOHA: Pledging to take their relationship to new heights, India and Qatar today agreed to work together to check terror financing and illegal financial transactions as they signed seven pacts with Prime Minister Narendra Modi inviting Qatari firms to "grab" vast opportunities in India.

At the end of wide-ranging talks, Modi had with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and the leadership here, the two sides highlighted the need to "isolate" the sponsors and supporters of terrorism and agreed that urgent action against all such entities, which support terrorism and use it as an instrument of policy, must be taken.

The two sides decided to take the relationship beyond a trading one to that of partnership by exploring the possibility of joint investments and agreed to set up a high-level ministerial committee to chart the future path.

Modi also took up with the Qatari leadership the issue of the welfare of Indian community, which is about 6.5 lakh strong, and received assurance about their security.

With Qatar being the largest source of India's LNG needs, the two sides agreed to focus on enhancing cooperation in energy, covering the areas of training and human resources development and cooperation in research and development and through promotion of joint ventures in petrochemical complexes and cooperation in joint exploration in India and other countries.

The Indian side highlighted the interest of its energy companies to pursue opportunities of mutual interest in Qatar, with Qatar Petroleum and other companies, in order to jointly explore new fields as well as develop discovered oil and gas assets and exploit the existing resources of natural gas and crude oil in Qatar.

Modi, before winding up his two-day visit here, expressed confidence that the bilateral relations will get "new strength" through the agreements signed.

After the talks, the two sides signed seven MoUs, including one on sharing of information between Financial Intelligence Units for sharing of intelligence on illegal movement of money, termed as 'hawala'.

The agreement is aimed at checking terror financing, hawala money as well as other sources of illegal financial transactions, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry Amar Sinha said.

"The two sides further agreed to take action against illegal transfer of money," a joint statement issued after the talks said.

There is a lot of money flow and investment from Qatar. A number of black money investigations have taken Indian authorities to Qatar's shores and such an MoU is seen as a move to help combat money offences.



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