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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Jordan’s King Abdullah meets Sheikh Tamim in first visit to Qatar in years


The royal trip marks the first such visit to Doha in years.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II met with Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in the Amiri Diwan on Tuesday during his first visit to the Gulf state in several years.

King Abdullah and Sheikh Tamim discussed relations between the two Arab states and means to expand them, during an official session of talks between the royals.

The two leaders were later spotted having dinner at one of the restaurants in Msheireb Downtown – the capital’s newest and most luxurious areas.

Queen Rania Al Abdullah, who is also accompanying Jordan’s ruler during his visit to Doha, met with Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim Al-Thani, the wife of Sheikh Tamim.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi and Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh were also among those named in the high-profile delegation.

During the two-day visit, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and his Jordanian counterpart signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic and special passports.

Another MoU was signed between the Qatar Investment Authority and Jordan’s Government Investments Management Company [GIMC].

Last year, Qatar’s amir visited Jordan for the first time since 2014 and offered to provide 10,000 jobs for Jordanians while also pledging $30 million in assistance to the Hashemite’s military pension fund.

Mutual visits between key officials from Qatar and Jordan have also been reported in recent months.

In August, Qatar’s FM met with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi and King Abdullah during a visit to Amman.

The meeting saw both diplomats assure that Jordan will continue to coordinate with Qatar to help provide Palestinians with humanitarian assistance and work towards reaching “comprehensive peace” in Palestine.

Qatar-Jordan bilateral ties

Qatar and Jordan share strong bilateral relations, with at least 60,000 Jordanians working in various sectors in Doha including health, education, finance, hospitality, and information technology.

Qatar’s investments in Jordan’s Stock Exchange reached $847 million at the end of September, making the Gulf state the seventh-largest stakeholder in Jordanian stocks in terms of ownership of securities by nationality.

Earlier reports said Qatari investments in Jordan exceeded $4.5 billion in all sectors, including $550 million in private sector investments. Of those investments, $950 million is equity in companies listed on the Amman Stock Exchange.

Read also: King Abdullah’s visit to Doha reflects strength of Qatar-Jordan ties: envoy

Jordan’s exports from Doha’s private sector to Jordan also reached $36 million last year.

The two countries have also cooperated in the military field.

In 2019, King Abdullah met with Qatari Defence Minister Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah to sign bilateral cooperation agreements between Doha and Amman’s armed forces.

In the same year, Jordan appointed Zaid Al-Lozi, secretary general of the country’s foreign ministry, as its ambassador to Doha.

Qatar’s amir was also one of the first leaders to call King Abdullah in April following news over a rumoured coup in Jordan.

Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, a former head of the royal court, as well as several others were arrested in response to the alleged failed coup.

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