ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday met his Qatari counterpart Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani in Doha, according to a Radio Pakistan report.

Bilateral relations, with a focus on economic cooperation between the two countries, were discussed during the meeting.

The prime minister is leading a high-level ministerial delegation on a two-day visit, on the invitation of Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al Thani.

Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad al-Muraikhi, who received the guests at the airport, and Ambassador of Pakistan to Qatar Syed Ahsan Raza Shah were also present in the meeting.

Members of Pakistani team including Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Adviser to PM Abdul Razak Dawood, PM Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari, BOI Chairman Haroon Sharif and Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua also attended the meeting.

The Qatari premier also hosted a dinner in the honour of the prime minister, who is on his sixth foreign visit since assuming the office.

The premier was also expected to hold meetings with the Qatari emir discuss matters of mutual interest.

Before the delegations departure, a Foreign Office official said the Pakistani side will also discuss the issue of exporting Pakistani manpower to Qatar.

Speaking in Islamabad before their departure, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi expressed the confidence that the visit to brotherly country would further strengthen the bilateral ties in different sectors.

“There’s an enormous potential in amplifying Pak-Qatar relations,” Qureshi told the media.

He said a large number of Pakistanis were employed in Qatar and the prime minister will discuss the issue of exporting more Pakistani skilled and unskilled workforce to Qatar for getting employment in different sectors including IT.

The foreign minister said there was a need of manpower for holding 2022 FIFA World Cup in the oil-rich country. “Qatar needs workers for new constructions and other activities,” he said.

In December last year, Qatar had opened a visa facilitation centre in Islamabad for swift processing of visas of members of the Pakistan workforce wishing to work in Qatar.

Doha has also promised 100,000 jobs for Pakistani workers, and the government is in talks with the Qatari government to adjust skilled members of the labour force returning from Saudi Arabia.

Foreign minister said bilateral trade between both the countries had boosted in the last six years. Pakistan fulfilled its need for liquified natural gas from Qatar, he added.

Qureshi also said that talks would be held for availing more facilities from Qatar on better terms and conditions.

Last week, Petroleum Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan had also said that the prime minister “may request the Qatar government to provide a credit facility for LNG supplies and revise the prices” during his visit to Doha.

Finance Minister Asad Umar and Foreign Minister Qureshi have already visited Doha one after another in recent weeks and are understood to have put the matter on the table, according to Sarwar.

Talking about the Middle Eastern country’s role in bringing Taliban to peace talks, Qureshi said that Pakistan appreciated Qatar’s role in Afghanistan reconciliation process.

“We will cogitate over possibilities of making the region more stabilised and pacific,” he said.

The foreign minister also said that the role of Pakistan for reconciliation and to remove misunderstandings in the Islamic world could also be discussed.

About the Pak-US relations, the foreign minister referred to the views of senior US Senator Lindsey Graham at a press conference that the US administration desired to forge strategic partnership with Pakistan.

It also showed the US shift from the transactional relationship to strategic partnership, Qureshi said.