Two leading Western figures will visit Qatar next month to discuss politics, economics and food security.
The first is John Kerry, who will visit Qatar at the beginning of March as part of his first foreign trip as US Secretary of State, the US government has announced.
Kerry, who assumed the role from Hillary Clinton on Feb. 1, plans to discuss “regional issues of concern such as the ongoing crisis in Syria, Afghanistan, and Middle East peace” with Qatar’s leaders.
Qatar will be his final stop on a tour of nine countries, including Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Reuters reports that the main theme of his trip will be “the challenge from extremists seeking to hijack some of the Arab Spring revolutions” – an extremely relevant topic for Qatar, which has sought to play a role post-revolution in Libya, Egypt and Syria.
Last year, the USA’s outgoing ambassador to Qatar praised “Qatar’s ability to speak out its mind on the uprisings, which has also brought it closer to countries such as Tunisia and Egypt, which support reforms.”
The British Embassy has announced that the UK’s heir to the throne, the Prince of Wales, and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall, will also be flying in.
The Prince’s website gives these details of the trip, which will be in the middle of March:
“In Qatar, as well as meeting with the Qatari Royal Family and senior officials, The Prince of Wales will see first hand how the country is tackling its food security challenges and visit British technology, innovation and educational partnerships with Qatar. Also, Their Royal Highnesses will attend a major event to celebrate the “UK-Qatar Year of Culture 2013.”
The couple will also be visiting Jordan and Oman during their nine day trip from the March 11 to 19.
The Duchess of Cornwall will be carrying out some solo engagements in Qatar, focusing on the role of women in society, and plans to visit some primary schools in the region.