By Joseph Varghese/Staff Rreeporter


The European Parliament delegation that is visiting Qatar is exploring the possibilities of expanding relations with Qatar  in the fields of research, education, technology and culture, said Angelika Niebler, the chair of the delegation for relations with Arab peninsula.

The delegation held discussions on issues of mutual interest with Prime Minister and Interior Minister HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, Advisory Council Speaker HE Mohamed bin Mubarak al-Khulaifi, Minister of Culture, Art and Heritage HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kuwari, senior government officials and representatives of Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar Investment Authority and Qatargas.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Niebler said that the delegation was here to foster deep relationship between Qatar and the EU countries in various areas.

“There are several possibilities to further expand EU-Qatari co-operation in areas such as research, culture and technology among others. A strengthened EU-Qatari partnership in all these fields would contribute to achieving Qatar’s objective of developing a knowledge-based society and economy. The delegation encourages Qatari efforts to diversify the country’s economy.”

The chair said that the delegation visited the Hamad Bin Khalifa University and was exploring options of  co-operation on education, research and technology. She added that efforts will be taken to bring in more collaboration in these fields.

Niebler observed that the EU–GCC relations have developed positively in the last few years. “Although negotiations on a free trade agreement  which would potentially expand trade significantly  have been at a deadlock since 2005, the delegation calls for deepening strategic ties between the EU and Qatar.”

Niebler also said that LNG is an important area of co-operation between Qatar and the EU. “As one of the key suppliers of LNG to Europe, Qatar is a vital partner for European energy security.

The delegation warmly welcomes the commitment of Qatar to support the EU in its efforts to diversify the sources of its energy supply. Given the extent of trade relations, the delegation hopes that Qatar can promote a region-to-region free-trade agreement,” she added.



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