Tuesday , July 23 2024

Official Visit of His Highness the Emir of Qatar



Two new bilateral agreements seal the further strengthening of relations between Qatar and Greece


With the signature of two new bilateral agreements, including one on military cooperation, the meeting in Athens at the end of last month between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, sealed the further strengthening of relations between Qatar and Greece.

In statements, Premier Mitsotakis referred to Greece’s significant progress as regards growth and said the meeting will be an opportunity to discuss regional developments, particularly what is happening in the Middle East.

The Emir of Qatar, who was paying his first Official Visit to Greece, highlighted the opportunity offered by his visit to strengthen bilateral relations, especially with respect to the economy and investments, while welcoming the opportunity to discuss regional issues and especially what is happening in Gaza.

During the meetings and in talks between the delegations of the two sides, the mutual desire to strengthen relations between Greece and Qatar was confirmed and sealed with the signature of two agreements: one for military cooperation between the Defence Ministries of Greece and Qatar and a Memorandum of Cooperation for political deliberations on issues of mutual interest between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries.

There was also a discussion on enhancing cooperation in a series of sectors, such as the economy, investments, energy and culture.

The Prime Minister analysed a broad spectrum of investment opportunities offered by Greece due to its geostrategic position and its connections with the markets of the Balkans, Southeast Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, as well as its initiatives to build new infrastructure, such as the FSRU of Alexandroupolis.

On regional developments, he repeated the necessity of an immediate ceasefire and the release of hostages, underlining his increasing concern over the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza. He also expressed his appreciation of Qatar’s role in the Gulf region and especially for the crisis in Gaza, saying that the good relations between Qatar and Greece help preserve stability in the region.

Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis, Defence Minister Nikos Dendias, Energy Minister Theodoros Skylakakis, Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, Shipping Minister Christos Stylianides and Deputy Foreign Minister for Openness Kostas Fragogiannis, the head of the Prime Minister’s Diplomatic Office Anna-Maria-Eleni Boura, the Greek Ambassador to Qatar Ioannis Ioannidis and other officials participated in the talks.

On behalf of Qatar, the Chief of the Amiri Diwan Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Minister of Transport Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti, Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi, Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Thani, Minister of Culture Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad Al Thani and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi were in attendance.

His Highness the Amir of Qatar also met with the Greek Head of State, President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, in which she noted that the two countries “play an important and stabilising role in our wider region. At this difficult juncture for the Middle East, my country highly appreciates Qatar’s mediation role in the armed conflict in the Gaza Strip and the enormous humanitarian crisis that has been created there.

“Greece will continue to try to contribute to the achievement of an immediate and sustainable ceasefire. Within this context, our collective efforts must be intensified to achieve a cessation of hostilities, the release of hostages and the assurance of an unhindered flow of humanitarian aid.”

On his part, the Emir reiterated Qatar’s stance: “We are in favour of the two-state solution and for the two countries, the two peoples, to live in peace in the region. We are working with our friends the Greeks to send humanitarian aid, and we are also working to free the people who are being held there. This is a human issue that we are working on and all the people who are there should go back to their families, to their parents.”

With regard to bilateral relations, President Sakellaropoulou expressed the belief that there are “significant opportunities and possibilities to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation in many areas. To this end, I am sure that your visit to Athens sends an important message, it is an important leap in our bilateral relations.”

After expressing his gratitude and joy to be in Athens on his first visit, the Emir noted that is has been “about 50 years since diplomatic relations between the two countries began,” and that there are “indeed many opportunities and possibilities to strengthen these relations”.

Pictured above: His Highness the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, pictured with – President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou; accompanied by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis witnessing the signing of two bilateral agreements by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al Muraikhi and Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis; and with Defence Minister Nikos Dendias; the two delegations in conference.

(Photographs by Th.Manolopoulos/Office of the President & T.Bolari/Eurokinissi.)

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