18 December 2020 (Qatar Tribune)
By Ashraf Siddiqui
HE Mustafa Goksu, Ambassador of Turkey
On the auspicious and joyful occasion of Qatar National Day, I would like to extend my most sincere congratulations to the Amir of the State of Qatar HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Father Amir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and the faithful, resolute and courageous people of Qatar.
Since I began my diplomatic mission as the Turkish envoy to State of Qatar in August 2020, I have been meticulously observing Qatar’s culture, traditions and ingenuity. I have been entirely impressed by their remarkable achievements in every sphere of life. Its attention to detail, internal unity, resilience and work ethics are rightly commendable.
I have been amazed by its convincing global presence and noteworthy role in promoting regional and global peace, stability, and development.
Today, the State of Qatar stands as a model for determination, socio-economic development and political achievements despite facing formidable challenges. What is most admirable is that Qatar has embraced modernity without sacrificing its national identity and cultural heritage.
Finally, as two hardened, faithful and brotherly strategic partners, Turkey and Qatar are determined to walk hand in hand towards a bright future.
On behalf of President Erdogan, the Government and the people of the Republic of Turkey, I would like to reiterate my heartfelt congratulations and warmest greetings to all on this blessed day.
HE Bart De Groof, Ambassador of Belgium
Hearty congratulations to Qatar on this National Day which is being held in special circumstances. During the current health crisis, Qatar has shown national solidarity and unity. A special tribute to the countless healthcare and other workers who have kept us all safe.
Qatar is to be commended for many things this year: It has pursued its path towards the successful organisation of the World Cup 2022, with more stadiums being opened and infrastructure being completed.
Qatar has further implemented major changes in its labour and migration laws, such as the introduction of the minimum wage and the dismantling of the Kafala system, by abolishing the NOC rule for changing jobs, greatly improving the situation of foreign workers.
Importantly, HH the Amir has announced elections for the Shura Council in October next year. Qatar, thus continues on its path towards inclusive growth for everyone. I wish everyone a very happy National Day!
HE Anders Bengtcen, Ambassador of Sweden
I would like to convey my sincere congratulations and my best wishes to Qatar on its National Day.
2020 has been a difficult year for the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for all countries to deal with and has also shown the need for international cooperation and solidarity.
Nationally, the measures taken by Qatar to control the pandemic have produced impressive results. Infection rates have been reduced significantly and a second wave has so far been prevented. Notwithstanding the pandemic, Qatar has continued the preparations for the World Cup which now are at an advanced stage. Important decisions have also been taken regarding continued labour reforms and a time frame has been set to hold the first elections to the Shura Council in October 2021.
Internationally, in 2020 Qatar has continued its important work in peace mediation and humanitarian assistance. The negotiations in Doha on the future of Afghanistan are an important example of the significant role Qatar has played in this context. But for many hundreds of thousands of Covid-stranded travellers around the world, 2020 is the year when Qatar became synonymous with a safe passage home. I would like to thank Qatar Airways for having continued to operate in challenging circumstances and safely flown home hundreds of thousands of foreign passengers, including thousands of Swedish citizens.
I am happy to note that relations between Sweden and Qatar are excellent and have expanded significantly in recent years. We have intensified our bilateral dialogue and last year we signed an MoU with Qatar on annual political consultations and in January this year, Sweden, Qatar and ILO signed an MoU on cooperation in the areas of health and safety at work and corporate social responsibility. Trade between our two countries has almost doubled in four years and reached QR2,600 million last year.
HE Antonio Alves DeCarvalho, Ambassador of Portugal
Qatar has established its position as a country defending basic international principles and as a defender of dialogue and multilateralism. Qatar is known for its role as a mediator and facilitator in solving regional and international conflicts. Moreover, Qatar’s role in development of the sports, mainly football, is highly appreciable. Qatar intends to become a world sports hub.
I highly commend the exemplary measures taken by the State of Qatar in combating the COVID-19 challenges successfully.
Qatar and Portugal, since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2011, have been building gradually a solid juridical bilateral framework in the fields of economy, investments, trade, taxes, energy, tourism, sports, science, education, culture and sports. Both the countries are engaged in reinforcing political and economic cooperation.
I look forward to building further closer relations from September 2021 onward when Portugal gets Presidency of the European Union. This will bring new paths to bilateral relations in priority areas for both countries, such as post-pandemic economic recovery, green recovery, digital economy and social welfare.
HE Prof. Dr. Victor Tvircon, Ambassador of Moldova
On the occasion of the celebration of the National Day of the State of Qatar, I have the particular pleasure to convey to the Amir of the State of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the people of Qatar, my heartfelt congratulations, along with my best wishes for peace and prosperity.
I am amazed to note the continuous development of the State of Qatar via its state-of-the-art infrastructure, implementation of wise policies and assertion of its role and influence both on regional and international levels. Therefore, I am wishing much more success to Qatar in the future.
I am especially honoured to be serving as Ambassador to this country and to work on development of relations between Qatar and Moldova for the benefit of our countries. I am grateful for the openness and keenness to deepen our ties.
God bless His Highness and the brotherly State of Qatar!
HE Jasminko Pozderak, Ambassador of Serbia
My heartiest congratulations to the leadership and the people of State of Qatar on the occasion of National Day celebrations. I wish them further development and welfare.
In the last few years, the bilateral relations between Serbia and Qatar have improved significantly and constantly in various sectors. The way the Qatari authorities have so successfully handled the challenges of combating the COVID-19 pandemic is indeed highly appreciable. The results of the measures taken so timely by Qatar have been very good. The number of new cases and casualties have been much lower compared with the other countries around the world.
Qatar’s role at various fronts on regional and international levels is commendable especially in promoting peace, progress, humanitarian fields and generous support and cooperation witnessed during the severe COVID-19 situation including towards my country Serbia.
HE Palmen Stankov Delev, Ambassador of Bulgaria
On the occasion of the National Day of State of Qatar, I would like to convey my sincere wishes for further development and prosperity of the State of Qatar, as well as good health and success to the Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the Qatari people. The Republic of Bulgaria highly appreciates our bilateral ties, which are based on friendship, mutual respect and cooperation.
Our bilateral relations have witnessed significant development in sectors like trade, investment, culture, science, education, technology, etc.
I believe that with the efforts of both countries, we can build on the many achievements underlying Bulgarian-Qatari relations.
We highly appreciate the outstanding role being played by Qatar at the regional and international levels, as well as domestically in various fields including wisely handling of COVID-19 pandemic and the resilience of the Qatari people since the beginning of the GCC crisis. Qatar’s strength in the areas of economy, education, culture and health care is remarkable.
Bulgaria, as a European Union member state, trusts in the unity of the GCC and we support the Kuwaiti mediation of the Gulf crisis. The differences should be settled through dialogue and my country further supports all international initiatives which could help finding a solution to the crisis through negotiations and peaceful dialogue.
Qatar is establishing itself as a platform for peace and dialogue as seen from the recent hosting of successful Intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha.
HE Graciela Gomez Garcia. Ambassador of Mexico
On behalf of the people and the government of Mexico, I extend our warmest congratulations to the people and government of Qatar on the occasion of their National Day.
2020 has been a difficult year because of COVID-19. But the pandemic has also taught all of us lasting lessons on resilience, solidarity, the value of community and caring for each other as brothers and sisters.
On June 30th, Mexico and Qatar commemorated 45 years of diplomatic relations and we ratified our commitment to further strengthening our exchanges in trade, arts and culture, tourism, education, technical cooperation and sports, to name a few.
We particularly appreciate the expression of solidarity and collaboration of Qatar to Mexico’s efforts to fight COVID-19 and we look forward to a bright future as friendly nations that are committed to justice, peace, fairness and equal access to opportunities around the world.
We wish all citizens and residents of Qatar a very happy National Day and we join you in celebrating the important achievements of this great nation, and with a special acknowledgement to the frontline workers and healthcare professionals, who have been our heroes during the pandemic.
HE Belen Alfaro, Ambassador of Spain
I would like to extend congratulations and warmest greetings to the Amir of the State of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and to His Honorable Family, as well as to HE Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister of Qatar, to the members of the Government and to the Qatari people. I would like to wish a Happy National Day, joy and prosperity, as well as success in the path to the FIFA World Cup 2022. Huge work has been made in the preparations and infrastructure works for the World Cup. Many Spaniards working in Qatar are contributing to its success and to the enhancement of Qatar’s capabilities in football.
I am impressed with the quick and successful measures adopted by the Government of Qatar to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects in the health and economic sectors. I would like to praise the robust health sector and the solid health measures that have been implemented in Qatar to fight this disease, as Qatar is one of the world’s least affected countries. I would like to highlight the importance that HH the Amir attaches to international cooperation in addressing the pandemic, and the relevant support and assistance provided by Qatar to more than 70 countries and International organisations. I would like to stress how urgent action has been taken to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic and to overcome the repercussions with minimal detriments.
Bilateral relations between Qatar and Spain remain excellent, inspired by the strong affection between both royal families. Our respective governments have been working hand-by-hand to address common issues such as tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ms. Arancha González Laya, has been in contact with her counterpart the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, for future avenues of collaboration, and have recently signed a bilateral agreement on diplomatic visas and special passports. Several bilateral agreements are in negotiations and we look forward to increase our level of engagement in different domains such as trade, education and culture.
The most recent figures show a consolidating growing path in bilateral trade. Last year has registered the best figures as our merchandise and services flows have risen by 7% during 2019, up to €1.3bn. Spain is an attractive destination for investments, since it is the natural gateway to Europe, the Mediterranean and Latin-America. Our business links in the fields of telecommunications, financial and insurance sectors, energy, tourism and infrastructure are well-known. Cultural cooperation is a priority for us. The Spanish Arab heritage creates many natural bonds between our two countries. In this field, the fascinating exhibition ‘Spanish artists in Doha’ was held at Katara Cultural Village in 2020.
HE Jose Benzaquen, Ambassador of Peru
Peru and Qatar have strong and long-standing relationships that witness positive development. The two countries are working very hard to prepare several agreements to be signed in the future, and there are plenty of investment opportunities in Peru in the fields of energy, agriculture, mining, tourism and others.
Diplomatic relations between the republic of Peru and the State of Qatar were established on November 7th, 1989 and my country is committed to continuing and enhancing its relations with the state of Qatar. We are both modern societies and developing countries with abundant natural resources in our regions.
I take the opportunity on this special occasion of Qatar National Day to extend my warmest congratulations to the Amir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Government of Qatar and the Qatari people, wishing them lasting success and
We highly appreciate the precautionary measures the State of Qatar has taken to protect the health and safety of its community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Qatar has been considered the perfect role model in dealing with global crises by supporting many other suffering nations worldwide to combat the spread of this pandemic.