Qatar, UK Have Strong, Solid Ties: Official| MENAFN.COM

Friday, 12 August 2022 07:58 GMT

Qatar, UK Have Strong, Solid Ties: Official


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA

Doha: Minister of State for Asia and the Middle East at the United Kingdoms Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office H E Amanda Melling affirmed that Qatar and the United Kingdom have strong and solid relations, and are working together, based on those relations, to strengthen the strategic partnership between them.

In an interview with QNA, she said that her current visit to Doha follows up on the results of the successful working visit of Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to the UK in May, and one of those results is the dialogue between the two countries in the field of energy, the new strategic partnership in the field of investment, as well as the upcoming strategic dialogue, which is expected to be held later this year.

She pointed out that the recent mutual visits between the two countries reflect the depth of relations between them and the real desire to expand areas of cooperation in various fields, including trade, security and defence, as well as education, health and other sectors that will contribute to strengthening and translating the bilateral relationship.

She also indicated that Qatar will be part of the new electronic travel authorisation system starting in 2023, which will make it easier for Qataris to travel to the UK for business and tourism alike. This step comes from the strong relations that bind the two countries, as it will enhance cooperation and partnership between the two sides.

The Minister said that the volume of trade exchange between the two countries amounted to GBP4.8bn during 2021 and noted that negotiations of the free trade agreement (FTA) between the UK and the GCC, which was launched last week in Riyadh, will contribute to increasing trade and investment in both directions, which will contribute to creating new opportunities for economic growth for the parties to the agreement.

She explained the intent to have a modern and ambitious free trade agreement with the GCC in terms of timing, and said,“I know everyone is very keen to move at pace on this and I think thats the key thing at this point in time undertaking these negotiations at pace so we can secure the FTA as soon as possible.”

The Minister stressed that her current presence in the State of Qatar is an opportunity to continue discussions on defining the real priorities of the relationship between the two countries, while searching for new opportunities for bilateral cooperation in many areas and on a larger scale. 

On the other hand, she expressed her eagerness for the start of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, noting that Qatar and the UK are working together to ensure a successful and safe tournament and there are many areas of cooperation in this regard.

The Royal Air Force and the British Royal Navy will be involved in securing the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, through the joint Typhoon squadron, she added.

After her visit to Al Janoub Stadium, one of the stadiums that will host the World Cup matches, HE Minister praised Qatar's preparations to host the tournament, and its efforts to make the fans who will come to the country have a wonderful experience as well, adding,“We are really looking forward to the World Cup later in the year.”

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