Thursday, 09 December 2021 05:00 GMT

Qatar one of Poland's closest, trusted partners in Middle East: Minister


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Qatar is one of Poland's closest and trusted partners in the Middle East, said Minister of State, Chancellery of the President of Poland, H E Jakub Kumoch. 

“Poland is seeking to enhance cooperation (with Qatar) in different fields,” he added. In an exclusive interview with The Peninsula during his visit to Qatar, Kumoch said Poland and Qatar enjoy a strong political and economic relationship. 

“Poland, Qatar relations are building on mutual friendship and respect. There are no political differences between our countries. The commercial side (of ties) is also very strong,” he said. 

“Yet there is a lot that we can share politically and economically on which we can build further cooperation.” 

The Minister's visit aimed at enhancing bilateral relations and preparing for the official visit of the President of Poland, H E Andrzej Duda to Qatar, scheduled for early next month. 

Kumoch and the visiting delegation met with Minister of State for Foreign Affairs H E Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi and held consultations in different areas.

“This was very constructive discussion; a kind of certain review of Qatar, Poland relations,” said Kumoch. 

Emphasising on importance of the upcoming visit of Polish President, Kumoch said it is a timely visit to strengthen relations with Qatar and the region. 
“The aim of the visit is to strengthen our relations which are very friendly and very good. Last visit of H H the Amir to Poland was in 2017, shortly before the Gulf crisis. Since Qatar managed to settle the relations with the neighbours and since the COVID-19's worst phase is over, it would be the right time for the revival of state visits. That is very important to us,” said Kumoch. 

Kumoch emphasised on Qatar-Poland business, trade and defence ties and the room to enhance the partnership.

“We treat Qatar as a very reliable commercial partner and Poland is one of the biggest advocates of Qatari LNG in Europe. We have built and invested in LNG terminal, so we are ready to cooperate and increase our cooperation with Qatar,” he said. 

By 2020, the annual volume of Polish-Qatari trade reached $726.3m. Qatar's export to Poland stood at $527.1m, consisting mainly of LNG, while Poland's export to Qatar was very diverse and stood at $199.2m. 

“Yet Poland has an economic deficit with Qatar. It is natural, we buy gas and Poland being a huge nation cannot sell that big amount of various items to Qatar. That's why we are very much participating in Qatar tenders in fields like infrastructure and seeking to attract Qatar into new tech industries.” 

Kumoch said that the Three Seas Initiative, a forum of twelve states, in the European Union paves way to attract more investment into Central Europe in energy, transport and digital infrastructure. 

“We would like Qatar to buy products from Poland and invite companies to attend infrastructure tenders,” he said. 

The other prominent area of cooperation between the countries has been military training. In June 2020, the batch of 10 Qatari Coast Guard cadets graduated from the Polish Naval Academy in Gdynia where they received extensive military education in modern navigation. A new group of 10 Qatari cadets started a new cycle in October this year. 

In reply to a question about Qatar's preparedness to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Kumoch said it is a very important moment as it will be the first-ever to happen in the region. He hoped that Poland would be part of the tournament.“Qatar and Poland also seek to enhance ties in education, science, culture and tourism.” 

Talking about the crisis situation at the Belarus-Poland border, Kumoch blamed Belarus for artificially creating a crisis by bringing in would-be migrants, mostly from the Middle East and taking them to the border with promises of an easy crossing into the European Union. 

“People are used like human weapons. We make a strong appeal to people in the Middle East that don't trust agents who promise to help them migrate to Europe. You may end up in a cold forest in the middle of nowhere,” he said. 

Kumoch appreciated Qatar's stance in taking measures to prevent any type of human trafficking and violations. 

Speaking about role of Qatar in handing the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, Kumoch said Qatar definitely played a big role in trying to find a solution in Afghanistan. 

“We understand Qatar's attitude and we understand that Doha process was very important at a moment. Now we observe the development in Afghanistan and we treat Qatar as a country with extremely big expertise on Afghanistan issues. We share the point of view that we need to observe the newly-established Taliban regime, their attitude towards human rights, women rights and education of children,” he said.

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