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Monday, August 2, 2021

Ukraine president Zelensky meets Amir Tamim in first Qatar visit

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Doha and Kyiv established diplomatic relations in 1993, marking the beginning of strong bilateral ties between the two states.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Amiri Diwan on Monday.

Zelensky trip to Doha marks his first such official state visit since assuming presidency in 2019, and comes days before 28th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between the two states.

Ukrainian media reported that “important” bilateral documents in the fields of food security, energy, youth and sports, as well as healthcare, are set to be signed during the visit.

“We also plan to sign documents on mutual recognition of seafarers’ certificates and driver’s licenses,” the Ukrainian president told Qatar’s state news agency [QNA], adding the purpose of the visit is to hold discussions with leaders of the Gulf state.

“I believe that maintaining the high dynamics of political dialogue at the highest level between our countries is an important component of further developing a mutually beneficial partnership,” he added.

Qatar and Ukraine hold strong economic ties, with bilateral investments amounting to $150 million in 2020 alone.

Last year, Qatar’s leading terminal operator QTerminals announced a $120 million investment over the course of 35 years of its concession in Ukraine’s Port of Olvia, as part of its efforts to expand its services in the Black Sea region.

Read also: Afghanistan’s Ghani to propose three-phase ‘peace roadmap’

More recently, Ukraine signed the “Investment Nannies” law, which paves the way for strategic investors with funds over €20 million [over $23 million], Zelensky told QNA.

“This summer we are launching a historic land reform that establishes transparent relations in the agricultural sector,”he added.

The Ukrainian leader also expressed his country’s willingness to provide Qatar with technical and security support during the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, noting that Ukrainian companies are interested in taking part in infrastructure projects in the Gulf state.

“In 2012 we hosted the European Football Championship, and in 2019 the final match of the Champions League among club teams took place in Kyiv. Therefore, we will be happy to share our experience with Qatari partners,” he said.

More recently in 2020, Doha provided Kyiv with humanitarian and medical care to help the country curb the spread of Covid-19 through the Qatar Fund for Development. The cargo plane was loaded with up to nine tonnes of coveralls, medical gowns, masks, gloves, goggles and face shields.

“Humanitarian aid provided by Qatar to many countries around the world demonstrates your country’s strong commitment to a spirit of partnership and mutual assistance in difficult times,” he said.

Aside from economic ties, citizens of the two countries enjoy a visa-free entry since 2017. Qatari citizens visiting an entry visa directly at its airport.

The two countries officially established diplomatic ties in 1993.


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