The ambassador of Tajikistan to Qatar, Khisrav Sohibzoda, has said that that the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to his country will open a new page in the history of Tajikistan-Qatar relations.
In an interview with the Qatar News Agency (QNA), the envoy said that His Highness the Amir's visit will include a visit to the Grand Mosque in Dushanbe, which was funded by Qatar as a gift to the Tajik people.
Sohibzoda said that the leaderships of the two countries will hold discussions on developing trade and economic relations, including on the future of Qatari investments in Tajikistan.
He also indicated that during the visit of His Highness the Amir there would be signing ceremonies of bilateral agreements and new memorandums of understanding.
The envoy that the upcoming talks would include mechanisms for activating and implementing the 20 bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding that have been signed over the past years between the governments of the two countries, ministries and official departments.
He also stressed the importance of direct flights between Doha and Dushanbe, helping to enhance trade, tourism and cultural co-operation as well as more communication between the two peoples, with all procedures having been taken to set up the legal framework to launch flights between the capitals of the two countries.
Sohibzoda said that the Tajik side took the initiative to grant Qatar Airways the fifth freedom flights, and that the issue is being studied by the Qatari side.
The envoy remarked Tajikistan and Qatar have had, and continue to have, remarkable progress in building distinguished relations for the benefit of their peoples, and that the two countries have close and similar positions on many international and regional issues, with co-operation between the two sides at the level of international and regional organisations.
Sohibzoda pointed out that Tajikistan hosted the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation summit in 2021, where the participating leaders agreed by consensus to grant Qatar the status of dialogue partner, which reflects the strength of co-operation between the two countries at international forums.
The ambassador said that his country regards Qatar as an advanced and developed country, both in the Middle East and at the global level, adding that strengthening and developing co-operation with Qatar is one of the priority directions in his country's foreign policy.
In terms of trade and investment between Tajikistan and Qatar, Sohibzoda said the biggest challenge is the fact that his country is landlocked.
Therefore, he said, resolving the logistical issue is of utmost importance to activate trade and investment co-operation between the two countries.
The envoy noted that Qatar is a pioneer among Arab countries in the investment market in Tajikistan through the "Diar Dushanbe" project, which is being developed by the Qatar Diar Company.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $300mn.
Its first phase has been completed, and the second phase is scheduled to start during this year, Sohibzoda said, hoping that this project would be an incentive for Qatari investors to enter with confidence in the investment market in Tajikistan.
He said that the renewable energy sector, particularly hydropower, is one of the priorities of the Tajik government to achieve sustainable economic development for the country.
Tajikistan is looking forward to Qatar’s involvement in Tajikistan’s hydropower projects, he said, through the Qatar Investment Authority and specialised Qatari companies.
He explained that Tajikistan is a country rich in water resources, and is ranked first in the region and eighth in the world in terms of hydroelectric energy resources, which are estimated at 527bn kilowatt-hours, but for the moment is only able to exploits 5% of these resources.
Sohibzodanoted that about 98% of the electricity in the country is produced by renewable hydropower.
The envoy also spoke about the joint governmental committee for economic, commercial and technical co-operation, which he said is a pivotal mechanism and an important element for activating and following up economic, commercial and investment co-operation between Tajikistan and Qatar.
The third session of the joint committee meetings was held in Dushanbe from August 29-31, 2018, and saw the signing of the meeting protocol, which stresses the need to enhance co-operation in the economic and trade fields in addition to the sectors of banking, health, education, culture, sports, and tourism.
Discussions are taking place between the two sides to hold the fourth session of the committee's meetings in Doha, Sohibzoda revealed, adding that there are promising opportunities and capabilities for both sides to enhance co-operation in various sectors of the economy and trade.
He said that the Tajik and Qatari peoples are linked by civilisational and spiritual values and deep historical and cultural ties.
These bonds and ties were cemented after Tajikistan gained its independence in 1991 and later recognised by the countries of the world as an independent, sovereign state, and an integral part of the international family, with Qatar being one of the first countries to announce its recognition of the sovereignty of Tajikistan.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Sohibzoda said, the two parties have been moving forward towards continuing the path of constructive, mutually beneficial and steady co-operation relations at the political, economic and social levels that are based on fraternity, good understanding, dependence and respect.
He also noted that co-operation in the field of sports is also one of the important areas for relations between the two countries, and that sport in all times has a special and unique mission in promoting peace and friendship between different peoples.
The envoy also appreciated the role played by Qatar in the international arena.
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