HE the Speaker of the Shura Council Hassan bin Abdullah al-Ghanim affirmed that the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines constitutes a new milestone in developing relations with Asia, praising His Highness the Amir's keenness on consolidating co-operation between Qatar and various countries of the world.

In an exclusive statement to Qatar News Agency, he said the visit would strengthen the bonds of friendship, coordination, co-operation, and common interests with these countries in various fields. It would also push parliamentary relations to broader horizons and consolidate parliamentary efforts aimed at bringing the Qatari people and the peoples of those friendly countries closer together, considering the growing relations between Qatar and Asian countries.

The Speaker noted the great importance of parliamentary relations between the Shura Council and Asian parliaments in view of the distinguished regional, geographical, and economic status of Qatar, which enabled it to become a strategic partner for Asian countries, in addition to Qatar's important regional political role at the international level that allowed it to build strong and established bilateral relations with Asian countries.

He pointed out that Qatar supported the key goals upon which the Asian Cooperation Dialogue Initiative was based, most notably strengthening intra-relations between member states, coordinating political positions, consolidating aspects of cooperation in various fields, and achieving common interests.

He said the Shura Council has built solid parliamentary relations with the parliaments of Asian countries, especially since the Council has a prominent presence in the Asian Parliamentary Assembly.

He explained the parliamentary friendship group with Asian countries had an important role in consolidating and strengthening relations through bilateral meetings and mutual visits, pointing out that the Shura Council will work to reinforce and develop these relations, in a way that contributes to supporting and strengthening the country's orientation towards developing relations with Asian countries.

The Speaker added that relations between the peoples of the Gulf region - of which the Qatari people are a part - and the Asian peoples in their various cultural, civilisational, political, and economic dimensions are well-established and rooted, pointing to the historical relationship that links Qatar with these countries in both commercial and cultural aspects since the pre-oil era.

He added that Arab and Gulf literature is full of rich cultural heritage that dealt with Asian cultures through study and analysis, and this had a great impact on our culture and heritage, and a positive impact on the social relationship between the two sides, which contributed to consolidating relations between the Gulf countries and Asian countries, in addition to the prominent contributions of Asian workers in the economic growth that the Arab Gulf countries have witnessed over the past years, which has led to significant social impacts on the people of Asian countries.

The Speaker said the Shura Council works to support, strengthen, and develop these historical relations in various fields, stressing the active role of the Council in the field of diplomacy and parliamentary relations, and openness to the world culturally and socially in keeping with the state's role on the regional and international arenas, and the aspirations of the Qatari people to convey their view on various issues and files.

He stressed that Qatar's strategy, led by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, works to enhance regional co-operation to achieve sustainable development. It also pursues balance, respect, and credibility as the basis of its work, and adopts good neighborliness, friendship, and co-operation in common development, in addition to taking mediation efforts and calling for dialogue as a basis for resolving all disputes, and this gave Qatar a regional and global position regarded with respect and admiration.

In conclusion, the Speaker said the Qatari people are following in the footsteps of their wise leadership, which spared no effort in strengthening their position and realising their hopes and aspirations, and the Qatari people enjoy a distinguished position among all the peoples of the region and the world due to their authenticity, generosity, and adherence to Islamic values and teachings. "This reflects the wise leadership's approach, which pursues a balanced policy based on brotherhood and co-operation, he said, stressing the Shura Council is pushing to consolidate this positive image and doing everything in its power to achieve more development and prosperity for the Qatari people, in accordance with the directives of the wise leadership.
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