HE the Minister of Administrative Development Dr Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi meeting Francis Maude, UK Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, in Doha yesterday.
By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter
A high ranking Qatari official will be visiting London next week to meet a number of cyber experts and map out “digital defence” preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Francis Maude, British Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, told Gulf Times yesterday.
Speaking on the sidelines of his visit to Qatar, Minister Maude said the Qatari official will have further discussions with UK-based businesses which have a high level of expertise in cyber security.
“I chaired the cabinet committee in Britain on the 2012 Olympics and cyber security was a big concern. We want to work very closely with the Qatar government in preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup,” the British Minister noted.
UK wants to share its experiences with Qatar in setting up and managing the 2012 Olympic Games, regarded as “one of the most successful Olympics ever.”
“The lessons of how and what we did and all of that, we are very keen to share it with our friends,” he added.
Minister Maude met senior Qatari officials to tackle a number of issues on cyber security, transparency, and ‘open government.’
Some of the topics at the meeting included efficiency, cost-cutting, and digital government where, he said, Qatar and the UK have “a huge amount of common ground.”
Knowing cyber hacking as one of the biggest threat to national security, the UK invested significant amount of additional funds on cyber security even at a time when it was implementing cost-cutting measures, according to Minister Maude.
Citing a series of cyber attacks recently, he pointed out that the Internet knows no national boundaries.
“Therefore governments need to work together in real time, with business and other organisations to share knowledge, information and capability quickly and effectively,” the British minister said. “Building those close relationships on these matters with our governments is of first importance.”
Last year, the UK signed a security pact with Qatar to share classified intelligence and deepen ties between the two countries’ security agencies amid a growing international threat from jihadism and cyber warfare, Ft.com reported.
Minister Maude also cited the growing trade and investment relationship between Qatar and the UK with bilateral trade volume reaching about QR30bn a year.
“There is a lot of Qatari investment in London and elsewhere in Britain, and we are busy building that up,” he noted. “We want Britain to be the best place in the world for companies to do business and we want to work with our friends and colleagues in Qatar for the benefit of both countries.”
He said the establishment of the British Chamber of Commerce in Qatar last month has strengthened business co-operation and relations between Qatari and British small and medium entrepreneurs.
Minister Maude also disclosed that about 3,000 Qataris are studying in the UK. “We have good universities and London is a great city. We are delighted to have many students from Qatar, this can only deepen the relationship between the two countries.”
About joint military exercises, he said they collaborate very closely with old and trusted allies such as Qatar.
Qatar-UK bilateral relations reviewed
HE the Minister of Administrative Development Dr Issa Saad al-Jafali al-Nuaimi held a meeting with Francis Maude, UK Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, and the delegation accompanying him yesterday.
They reviewed relations between Qatar and the UK.
A number of senior officials at the Ministry of Administrative Development attended the meeting along with the delegation accompanying the British official.
Separately, Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, also met Francis Maude yesterday.
Talks during the meeting dealt with the important issues pertaining to public sector reform and transparency.
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