*Amir to visit Italy also
*Amir to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral relations with leaders of both countries
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani arrived in Zagreb on Sunday evening on a two-day state visit to the Republic of Croatia.
The Amir and the delegation accompanying him were welcomed upon arrival at the Franjo Tudman International Zagreb Airport by Croatian President's Adviser for Foreign Affairs Dario Mihelin, Ambassador of Qatar to Croatia Nasser bin Hamad Mubarak al- Khalifa, Croatia's Ambassador to Qatar, Croatia's Assistant Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Ivana Zivkovic and members of the Qatari Embassy in Zagreb.
The Amir's visit comes as part of Qatar's efforts to inform world nations of the country's independent policies, to build and fortify the nation, strengthen its structure in all sectors and open new avenues for Qatar's economy.
"In this context, HH the Amir begins the official visit on Sunday to the Republic of Croatia followed by the Italian Republic, at the invitation of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and Italian President Sergio Mattarella," the official Qatar News Agency said.
The Amir is expected to discuss with the leaders and senior officials of both countries ways to boost and develop bilateral relations in various fields, as well as a number of topics of mutual interest. A number of agreements and memoranda of understanding in different fields are scheduled to be signed in both countries.
Qatar and Croatia have growing, unique strategic relations, which are continuously developing in all fields especially trade, economy and investment.
Diplomatic relations between the two states were established in December 1992 and the Qatari Embassy in Zagreb was inaugurated in early 2013, after the opening of Croatia's Embassy in Doha end of 2012, as its first embassy in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The Croatian President paid an official visit to Qatar in April 2017 where she discussed with the Amir ways to promote relations between both countries especially in the political, economic, investment and environment field. The discussion also touched on the most prominent regional and international issues .
During her visit, the President witnessed the opening of Qatari-Croatian Business Forum.
President Kitarovic called on Qatari businessmen to invest in her country, stressing that Croatia was an open country for business and provided many investment incentives.
In 2009, His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser paid an official visit to Croatia. In addition, a number of Qatari ministers and officials visited Croatia and held discussions that touched on promoting and developing the relations between both countries. In October 2009, the cornerstone of the Qatar-funded Islamic center in Rijeka was laid.
Since the declaration of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, several agreements and memorandums of understanding have been signed to regulate bilateral relations, including the promotion and protection of investments, tourism, economic and banking cooperation, human resources development, environmental protection, air transport , energy technology and a memorandum of understanding between the Qatar Chamber and the Croatian Economic Chamber.
In May 2012, Qatar Airways began operating direct flights to Zagreb, which has reached 10 flights a week.
Croatia is making great efforts to establish a LNG plant on the island of Krk which would allow it to diversify energy sources, especially as it seeks to be an important player in supplying Europe with gas.
There is also scope for investment in electricity generation. In the agricultural sector, Croatia has vast areas of fertile land, which is considered an endless basket of food. The Croatian tourism sector attracts millions of foreign tourists every summer.
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