Economic, political & cultural ties to deepen as Guyana Embassy opens in Qatar
…“momentous occasion” – President Ali
Guyana on Tuesday inaugurated its embassy in Qatar, in a move that President Dr Irfaan Ali said would help both countries embark on a journey of enhanced bilateral relations.
President Dr Irfaan Ali and a high-level delegation are currently on a State Visit to Qatar, where they have so far engaged in a number of discussions with top officials, aimed at deepening the relationship between the two countries.
One of the highlights of the trip so far is the official opening of the Guyana Embassy in Doha.
The event was attended by Qatar’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sultan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi as well as ambassadors of other countries in the Gulf state.
In brief remarks at the ceremony, President Ali expressed, “I want to thank all of our friends who are here to celebrate this momentous occasion.”
The Guyanese Head of State also thanked Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for his support to Guyana.
“We are truly grateful and, as a nation, we pray for the continued prosperity and good health for the Government, leadership and the people of Qatar,” Ali said.
Meanwhile, Al-Muraikhi affirmed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ keenness on providing all possible facilities to further support and strengthen bilateral relations at all levels, especially in the economic, political and cultural fields.
Qatar and Guyana established diplomatic relations in 1996.
Meanwhile, President Ali has so far held bilateral discussions with the Amir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and members of his Cabinet.
He has also met with the Chairman of Qatar Tourism and Group CEO of Qatar Airways Akbar Al Baker. The Head of State and the airline’s CEO discussed enhancing Guyana’s reach and the country’s tourism product.
The Guyanese Head of State further held discussions with Qatari Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali Al Thani. During the engagement, Guyana’s global leadership in climate change was highlighted and the potential role Qatar can play ensued.
Ali also held talks with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce where discussions focused on investment opportunities in Guyana. The Chamber was represented by its First Vice Chairman, Mohamed Bin Ahmed Bin Twar Al-Kuwari.
Meetings were also had with Qatar’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al Abdullah Al Thani in Doha and Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Engineer Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi in Doha, and the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Minister of Finance, Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari.
During his bilateral engagements, President Ali was joined by Senior Minister in the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh; Guyana’s Ambassador to Qatar, Safraz Shahood; Presidential Assistant and Personal Envoy to Greece, the Middle East and Africa, Ambassador George Hallaq and Director of Presidential Affairs, Marcia Nadir-Sharma.
Last October, Al Kaabi had led a delegation to Guyana to explore various opportunities here.
During Al-Kaabi’s visit, discussions between the two countries centred on potential collaboration in the areas of energy, food, infrastructure and aviation. In April 2022, President Ali and his team also met with a delegation from the Qatari Investment Mission to advance discussions on investment opportunities in the country.
The Qatari Investment Mission representatives were the Group Chairman of Power International Holding, Moutaz Al Khayyat; the Group Chief Venture Officer of Power International Holding, Ali Kazma and the company’s Chief Business Development Officer, Mazen Alsbeti.
Also, in November 2021, President Ali had met with senior officials of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) – the sovereign wealth fund of the Middle Eastern State. The visiting team comprised of two QIA Executives, Abdulhadi F A Al-Hajri and Dany Farah Nakhoul. Their visit was a follow-up to talks started by President Ali and the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
During that meeting, the Guyanese Head of State had highlighted Government’s desire to make Guyana the hub for agriculture and food security within the Region and further afield. He also pointed to the numerous opportunities in other sectors that would promote the overall growth and development of Guyana.
The State of Qatar is among several Middle Eastern nations that expressed serious interest in investing in various sectors in Guyana during President Ali’s visit in 2021 for the Dubai World Expo.
In February this year, it was announced that Guyana would be receiving help with the oil and gas sector from Qatar. Specifically, Qatar would be helping Guyana create a gas utilisation and monetisation plan, which will be applicable when the gas-to-energy project is commissioned.
It was also reported that Guyana was in talks with Qatar, among other countries, on the possibility of directly allocating offshore blocks for oil and gas exploration. (G11)