(MENAFN- The Peninsula) fazeena saleem |
Finland marked the official inauguration of its embassy in Qatar yesterday, opening a new chapter in decades of strong ties between the two countries.
The diplomatic reception to mark opening of the Finnish embassy was held in the presence of Qatari dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps, academia and businessmen.
Minister of Commerce and Industry, H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Thani; Minister of Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of Finland, H E Ville Skinnari; and Director of Protocol Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H E Ambassador Ibrahim Yousef Fakhroo were among the guests at the reception. Diplomatic relations between Qatar and Finland were established in April 1974. Finland opened its Doha embassy in December 2021 and the yesterday's event marked the official inauguration of the mission.
Addressing the event, Finnish Minister Ville Skinnari praised bilateral relations developed over the years in terms of trade exchange with great cooperation opportunities for the future.
He said,“It's been a long journey. The opening of the Finnish embassy in Qatar is a significant contribution to the growing relations between the countries.
“I'm very proud that Finland is investing into the future. Finland is investing into international presence as far as foreign relations, as far as business relations and Qatar is an example. Although we have tough times in the world, Finland remains positive, wants to build up solutions in various fields. I think this is a concrete example for the world how Finland and Qatar are building up together.”
He added:“The world is challenging us in many ways. The most important thing is that we build up trust. We will build up trust amongst ourselves, we build up trust amongst the businesses and everybody.”
Skinnari also highlighted the presence of Finnish companies in Qatar. He said the newly commenced operations of Finnair in collaboration with Qatar Airways, between Doha and Nordic countries is a significant achievement.
Speaking at the event, Finland's Ambassador to Qatar H E Pekka Voutilainen said Qatar's embassy will soon open in Finland. He said that opening of the embassy will further enhance the ties.
“It was in 1998 that Finland and Qatar agreed to have embassies in each other's capitals. Now, it's been more than 20 years. But here we are; and Qatar will follow soon,” said Voutilainen, who is the first Finnish ambassador residing in Qatar.
He emphasised that Finnish companies have a strong presence in Qatar in areas such as digitalisation, technology, aviation, education and clean technologies.
A cake was also cut by the dignitaries on the occasion, which also included a performance by Finnish musician Eda Elina.