The European Union (EU) ambassador to the State of Qatar Cristian Tudor stressed that despite recent regional challenges in the Middle East region, the relations between the EU and Qatar have deepened on the political level, culminating with the official visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Brussels in March 2018.
He added, in exclusive statements to Qatar News Agency (QNA) on the occasion of the National Day, that during the visit, the European External Action Service and the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed a co-operation arrangement that creates a solid ground to deepen co-operation in various fields.
He pointed out that the first senior officials meeting was held in Brussels in July 2019, launching the implementation of the Co-operation Arrangement. He added that they are working closely with Qatari colleagues to achieve the desired results in a broad range of fields, including security and counter-terrorism, economic co-operation, green energy, education, labour reform, development co-operation and humanitarian assistance.
He stated that the relations between the EU and Qatar historically go back to 1989 when the formal relations between the EU and the six GCC countries were established by signing the EU-Gulf Co-operation Council Co-operation Agreement. Additionally, the EU has been pursuing a bilateral track of co-operation with Qatar. He praised the existence of an informal Human Rights Dialogue between EU and Qatar as an avenue that gives the opportunity to exchange views on a wide range of issues in the area of Human Rights.
He also stated that Qatar is a close aviation partner for the EU, with more than 7mn passengers travelling between the EU and Qatar per year, and in March 2019, the European Commission and the State of Qatar initiated an aviation agreement, becoming first such agreement between the EU and a partner from the Gulf region.
He expressed his belief that the relations between the European Union and the State of Qatar will become even stronger and richer over the coming years, adding that they are committed to building a mutually beneficial comprehensive partnership, encompassing various spheres of engagement, which will continue to further diversify and strengthen in the years to come. Tudor congratulated His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and the friendly people of Qatar on the occasion of Qatar National Day. “I trust that Qatar will continue on its path towards prosperity, development and economic diversification under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir,” he added.
He praised Qatar for investing a lot in its people and, in general, in the development of the country. He also hailed the development in education, research and innovation, which are essential key areas of co-operation for EU and Qatar in the future. He also praised the economic transformation achieved over the years.
The EU ambassador also welcomed the work Qatar has been doing to progressively to deepen its relations with the European Union and the EU Member States, adding that Qatar has pursued a very active foreign policy abroad that resulted in establishing new partnerships.
He explained that the EU has constantly voiced support for GCC unity as a key element to ensuring stability in the Gulf region. He expressed his appreciation that in the context of evolving geopolitical realities, Qatar has always shown readiness to engage in dialogue with other GCC states.