Australia opens embassy in Qatar

Dipti Nair
Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop opened the Australian Embassy at the Tornado Tower in West Bay on Thursday.
The opening ceremony comprised a ribbon cutting and unveiling of a plaque commemorating this milestone in Qatar-Australia diplomatic relations by Bishop and Australia’s first resident Ambassador to Qatar HE Dr Axel Wabenhorst.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Bishop emphasised on the need for strengthening economic and commercial ties between the two countries.
“This morning I had the honour of meeting with the heads of the Qatar Investment Authority, the Foreign Minister and Minister for Economics and Commerce. We have discussed the partnership between Australia and Qatar. Two-way trade is going to be worth $1.75 billion. Given the enormous infrastructure built that we see here in Qatar, we see many opportunities for Australian businesses to work here. There has been significant investment from Qatar in Australia in agricultural commodities, tourism related infrastructure. We have worked on some strategic issues and a number of coalitions designed to resolve conflicts in the region.”
This is Australia’s 101st post overseas.
Bishop also announced the signing of an air-service agreement. Now, there will be flights from Doha to four destinations in Australia Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.
Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said their presence in this part of the world, especially the Middle East, is important to Australia, confirming that the country will be opening their 102nd diplomatic post next in Rabat, Morocco.
“This is part of an overall strategy of this government to develop our diplomatic relationships oversees. Australia’s interests are global and we look to having a presence in countries where we feel there is a strict economic and strategic reason for being there, and Qatar fulfils both areas.”
She said that during the meetings more high-level visits between the two countries were discussed.
“We hope HH the Emir will visit Australia next year. We are certainly looking towards more ministerial visits to Qatar from Australia. The trade, tourism and investment minister of Australia is likely to visit Qatar in near future to strengthen bilateral ties,” she said.
Bishop announced signing an air-service agreement which reflects on the current situation of Qatar’s flights to Australia. There will now be flights from Doha to four destinations in Australia Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne.
“Australia has a non-discriminatory emigration system as our country is built on emigration. We have accepted migrants from all corners of the world and will continue to do so. It is to our benefit that we receive people in Australia who wish to be a part of the Australian society and contribute to the society”, she added.
There are 5,500 Australian citizens working in Qatar.