The meeting of the dictator with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani was held in Doha.
The meeting is slightly covered by the media. “Belarus and Qatar intend to give a new breath to bilateral trade and economic cooperation”; “Leaders of two countries noted trust relations both at intergovernmental and personal level”; “Today’s meeting in Doha is an excellent occasion to decide how and what direction to take to promote bilateral relations”.
Lukashenka offered to find three-five profitable projects for two countries, which “could become a hit to development of relations,” BelTA informs. And, it seems, that we heard it last time.
Diplomatic relations between Belarus and Qatar established on January 16, 1996. Belarusian Embassy in Qatar has started its work on June 29, 2014.
The first visit of a state delegation headed by Lukashenka was in February 17-19, 2001. The signing of bilateral intergovernmental agreements on mutual promotion and protection of investments, as well as on economic, trade and technical cooperation was the main result.
The return visit of the Emir to Belarus was held on April 13-14, 2009. An intergovernmental agreement on the establishment of the Joint Committee is the document designed to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
The second visit of Lukashenka to Qatar was paid on August 15-16, 2011. Then Lukashenka stated that Belarus intended to establish a “strategic partnership” with Qatar.
Five years passed. No “strategic partnership” was built up. The turnover between countries is quite miserable.
On April 14, 2016 in Istanbul, there was held a regular meeting of Lukashenka with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani at the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. “The most urgent aspects of Belarusian-Qatari cooperation” were discussed again. It is interesting that foreign trade statistics of Belarus has no records of trade turnover with Qatar this year. That is, even if there are some secret deals, the Belarusian budget does not get a penny. In past years, it did not exceed $20 million. It seems that visits and embassy there cost more.
It will be recalled that the decision on Lukashenka’s visit to Qatar and the UAE was taken right after closed talks on gas with the Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in Minsk.