Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani wrapped up Thursday a successful tour that included four Asian countries - the Republic of Singapore, Malaysia, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of Korea.
This tour came after the State of Qatar signed the instrument of accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) during the association's 55th Ministerial Meeting held in the Cambodian capital city of Phnom Penh.
During the ten-day tour, His Excellency held 16 meetings with the leaders of these countries, his counterparts, and a number of officials and businessmen.
In the Republic of Singapore, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs held meetings with HE President of the Republic of Singapore, Halimah Yacob. His Excellency also held meetings with HE Minister of Interior and Law, K. Shanmugam, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong, HE Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Foreign Affairs and Education, Dr. Mohammed Maliki bin Osman, and HE Senior Minister (SM) and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean. His Excellency also took part in a policy roundtable meeting.
HE President of the Republic of Singapore extended her country's thanks to the State of Qatar for its efforts in facilitating the evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan.
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance welcomed the Qatar Investment Authority's establishment of its Asian office in Singapore last year. HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senior Minister Coordinating Minister for National Security of Singapore stressed the importance of the Singapore-Qatar High-Level Joint Committee (HLJC) as a platform to enhance bilateral cooperation.
In Malaysia, HM King of Malaysia Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah received HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. His Excellency also met with HE Prime Minister of Malaysia Ismail Sabri Yaqoub, HE Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia Saifuddin Abdullah, and HE Senior Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry Mohamed Azmin Ali.
His Excellency also held a meeting with several Malaysian businessmen.
HM the King of Malaysia expressed hopes that further Qatari companies will continue investments and expand their businesses in his country, especially in the real estate development sector.
His Majesty also stressed Malaysia's willingness to cooperate with the State of Qatar in dealing with the post-COVID-19 pandemic through developing vaccines and antiviral drugs and exchanging experiences, research and expertise.
The Malaysian Prime Minister said his country aspires that the meetings between the two parties will enhance bilateral relations and chart a way forward to address many issues of common concern.
He also stressed that his country and the State of Qatar can develop a strategic framework for food security through cooperation between Baladna Food Industries and FGV Holdings Bhd to develop dairy cows breeding soon in the Malaysian cities of Chuping, Perlis and Pahang. He also wished Qatar success in hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The Malaysian Prime Minister also expressed his country's gratefulness to the State of Qatar for the support it offered for the Rohingya refugees in the healthcare sector.
The Malaysian Foreign Minister described the existing trade relations between both countries as "very good" and said the two sides remain committed to strengthening them with new investments and activities.
In this regard, he highlighted that Qatar's Baladna joined Malaysia's FGV Integrated Farming Sdn Bhd for the development of the largest dairy company in the region through two sites in Perlis and Pahang.
He said that both sides are required to think of new ways to support bilateral relations amid the daily increasing complexity of international trade.
In the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs met with HE Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and HE Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son.
The Vietnamese Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs underlined the need for coordination to successfully organize the activities of the 30th-anniversary celebration of the diplomatic relations in 2023, including the exchanged visits at the entire levels, promoting the cultural and sporting exchange and increasing the shared support in multi-lateral forums, regional and international organizations such as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and ASEAN.
The Vietnamese minister confirmed that his country would provide a conducive environment for the Qatari companies and investment funds to further explore and tap the market.
He expressed hope that the number of tourists from Qatar to Vietnam will increase in the future so that the local tourism sector will recover strongly in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.
In the Republic of South Korea, HE President of the Republic of Korea Yoon Suk-yeol received HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs. His Excellency also met with HE Minister of Foreign Affairs Park Jin, and HE National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo.
During the meeting, HE the Korean president expressed his country's aspiration to promote relations with the State of Qatar, especially in the energy, technology, and food security spheres.
HE the Korean president said that the agreement signed yesterday by the two sides pertaining to the mutual exemption of entry visa requirements for citizens of the two countries would further strengthen the relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Korea.
His Excellency hailed the efforts of the State of Qatar in the mediation field, including its role in the signing of the Doha Peace Agreement in Chad, and the participation of politico-military movements in the inclusive sovereign national dialogue, in addition to the State of Qatar's hosting of the indirect talks between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the mediation of the State of Qatar between the United States of America and the Afghan Taliban.
During the tour, the promotion of bilateral cooperation between the state of Qatar and the four countries was reviewed in a number of vital fields, particularly the field of boosting investment, energy security, clean energy, food and health security, agriculture, trade, Islamic banking, education, tourism and operationalizing the joint committees.
The meetings discussed a wide range of regional and international issues of common interest between the State of Qatar and these countries, especially the developments in the Palestinian occupied territories, Ukraine, Afghanistan, developments of the nuclear deal and the Rohingya refugee crisis.
The meetings elaborated on the efforts of the State of Qatar in the mediation field and its role in the signing of the Doha Peace Agreement in Chad and the participation of politico-military movements in the inclusive sovereign national dialogue, the State of Qatar's hosting of the indirect talks between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the mediation of the State of Qatar between the United States of America and the Afghan Taliban.
The tour witnessed the signing of an agreement on visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and special passports between the governments of the State of Qatar and Vietnam and an agreement on the mutual exemption from entry visa requirements for citizens of the State of Qatar and the Republic of Korea.
During the tour, they also discussed the preparations of the state of Qatar to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament.
The tour intended to promote the State of Qatar's relations with the Asian states that occupy a distinguished position in Qatar's foreign policy and strengthen the Asian action at the regional organizations level, including the multi-lateral action.
The discussions that were held during the tour, reflected the strategic position of Asia in the Qatari foreign policy and the common desire to promote bilateral relations since the Asian continent is considered the primary partner to the State of Qatar in the energy market, as a number of its countries have long-term contracts with Qatar for the export of Liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The State of Qatar has distinguished ties with the four countries included in the tour of HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, as the State of Qatar and the Republic of Singapore share robust and solid ties that extend to more than 30 years, and Singapore represents the distinctive destination for the Qatari investments in financial, insurance and real estate sectors, in which the Qatari investments are estimated at about USD 3 billion.
Malaysia, which has 48 years of fruitful economic cooperation and partnership with Qatar, is a premium destination for Qatari investments in the fields of tourism, hospitality, financial, real estate and industrial sectors. More than 40 Malaysian companies operating in the Qatari market, including five companies wholly owned by the Malaysian side.
The bilateral relations between the State of Qatar and Vietnam are characterized by excellence and close cooperation, and the joint ministerial committee works to enhance economic, trade and technical cooperation between the two countries to achieve common interests.
The State of Qatar and the Republic of Korea combine a basic partnership and constant cooperation, and the State of Qatar is the largest supplier of LNG to Korea with long-term contracts. The two countries are working to strengthen trade relations by building prospects for continuous cooperation in the fields of investment.
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