28 Apr 2018 – 9:50

Envoy underscores strong Qatar-Dutch ties

From third left: H E Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health; Dr Bahia Tahzib-Lie, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Qatar; H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kawari, Minister of State; and Ibrahim Fakhroo, Director of Protocol at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with other officials during the Dutch National Day reception held at St. Regis Hotel in Doha on Wednesday. Pic: Baher Amin / The Peninsula

By Raynald C Rivera / The Peninsula

DOHA: Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Qatar, Dr Bahia Tahzib-Lie underscored the strong, friendly relations that exist between the two countries, during a National Day reception celebrating the King’s Day on Wednesday at The St. Regis Doha.

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The Minister of State H E Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, the  Minister of Public Health H E Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director of Protocol, Ibrahim Fakhroo were among those who attended the event organised by the embassy.

“Throughout the world, the Dutch organises festivities in honour of King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. For the Dutch living in Qatar, King’s Day is a fitting moment to mark the strong bonds of our countries, royal families, companies, and importantly, our people,” said Tahzib-Lie.

“It is wonderful to witness how Qatar and the Netherlands connect, inspire, and complement each other across a wide range of sectors. Over the past year, we have had incoming and outgoing missions on agriculture, energy, water, health care, sports, art, judicial cooperation, and human rights. We also addressed the nexus between organized crime and terrorism,” she stressed.

Yesterday the embassy opened its new premises at the Al Fardan Tower, which the envoy said, symbolises the Qatari Dutch connection.
Tahzib-Lie emphasized the importance and inherent power of collaborative work and synergy.

“At a time when fear and emphasis on our differences seem to be growing in many regions of the world, it is more crucial than ever to work together as partners. From experience we all know that cooperation and synergy generate motion, results, and a legacy to inspire future generations,” she said.

To further illustrate the power of collaborative work, the envoy cited examples of the Dutch-Qatari synergy in various fields such as in education and sports.

The recently opened Qatar National Library designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, Dutch football legend Wesley Sneijder sharing his skills and experience with young players at Qatar Stars League, and the financial education classes conducted by Dutch and Qatari professionals at primary schools in Qatar during the Global Money Week in March were among the examples she mentioned.

She also underlined the significant role women play in peace negotiations and decision-making, while urging for more women participation and empowerment.

“Across the globe, women are still underrepresented, or in some circumstances even absent, in peace negotiations. We are proud that Qatar has a super proactive female Permanent Representative at the UN in New York –a great asset for the country and its citizens,” she said.

“As President of the UN Security Council, the Netherlands invited countries to leave a legacy for International Women’s Day. On March 8, the seats in the Security Council chamber were mostly occupied by female diplomats, a historic move inspired by the Netherlands,” she added.

On how women’s voices matter in peace talks and decision making, she said: “According to the UN, when women take part, a peace agreement is 35% more likely to last at least 15 years. So let us all try to work together on more inclusion and empowerment.”