Qatar celebrates its National Day today remembering the glories of the past and the achievements of the present and with hope for a bright future filled with peace, accomplishment and success.
The motto of this year’s celebrations is “As long as it is proven by our deeds...Qatar remains free.”
On this significant day in the history of our country, we recall the wonderful biography of the Founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohamed bin Thani, who laid the foundation of our modern state, protected the dignity of its people and made the country united, cohesive and independent when he took office on 18 December 1878.
The State united by the Founder became feared by the adversaries, embraced its siblings and friends, respected covenants and rights of its neighbours and adhered to values, morals and principles.
The National Day celebration this year is important as the country is currently facing major challenges from hateful and greedy adversaries.
The celebration also comes at time when various indicators are confirming that Qatar has overcame all challenges and continued its journey with clear vision, plans supported by strong will and ambition to fortify our nation against all risk and crises and to complete its march and renaissance under the leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and his government.
The National Day is a great occasion, in which we recall the glory of the past and sacrifices of our ancestors.
It is also an occasion to renew our loyalty to our leader His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
The unity between the people and the leadership led to the development of the State in a record time and enabled Qatar to become a model and an example for welfare, economic and social development based on the foundations inherited from previous generations.
Thanks to God and the wisdom, guidance and policies of our leadership, Qatar is proceeding on the path of development and is moving steadily and confidently towards the future, for the sake of the nation’s prosperity.
Qatar is also preparing the Qatari citizen to be able to give, achieve, excel, build the nation and protect it through education, dedicated work and self-reliance in various fields.
2018 was a bright year due to Qatar’s achievements, successes and excellence in various local and foreign sectors.
The country is one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
It is the world’s largest liquefied natural gas producer and has become a major force in foreign investment, in addition to its achievements in political, cultural, social and legislative spheres.
The most important achievements this year were Qatar’s foreign relations’ political, economic, military and defence successes along with the strategic alliances it made through its active, calm diplomacy, which is based on the policy of mutual respect and common interests.
These achievements were outlined by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani through his guidance to build the economic independence of Qatar and protect its national security and strengthen bilateral relations with all countries of the world.
The year 2018 was marked by the Amir’s visit to Turkey, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Russia, the United States, Kuwait, France, United Kingdom, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, Croatia, Italy and Malaysia.
Qatari interests were high on the agenda of discussions during these visits.
Additionally, the Amir participated in the Munich Security Conference held in Germany last February.
It is important to point out that Qatar will host the Munich Security Conference next year 2019.
In May, the Amir participated in the Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Summit Conference in Istanbul, which was dedicated to the development in Palestine.
In September, the Amir participated in the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, where he delivered a comprehensive speech on Qatar’s position on the unfair blockade imposed on it, as well as its position and vision on the most important issues.
The Amir also announced that Qatar will provide good education for a million girls by the year 2021.
Furthermore, the Amir attended the opening of the Paris Peace Forum in response to the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.
Emphasising the importance, respect and appreciation of the leaders of brotherly and friendly countries, a number of heads of state have visited Qatar this year.
Amir also met many senior Arab and foreign organisations’ officials.
In order to strengthen Qatari relations with major international actors, Qatar’s economic tour took place across the United States this year.
It included four economic forums between Qatar and the United States in Miami, Washington, DC, Charleston in South Carolina and North Carolina, in order to highlight the strong economic potential of the State and the major development projects that are implemented to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030 as well as the projects related to the 2022 World Cup.
Earlier this year, the inaugural strategic dialogue between Qatar and the US was held in Washington, DC, aimed at strengthening the strategic partnership between the two friendly countries in various fields and consolidating the historic relations between Doha and Washington at all levels.
Qatar also held two rounds of strategic dialogue with Britain and China.
Regarding the defence sector, there were remarkable Qatari moves and events during the current year in order to fortify Qatar and protect its gains, sovereignty and capabilities.
In this context, a new airbase called “Tamim Airbase” was established.
The Amir, Commander-in-Chief of the Qatari Armed Forces, launched the operations of the Qatar’s Amiri Air Force and the British Royal Air Force joint squadron which will play a prominent and effective role in protecting the Qatari airspace during the 2022 World Cup.
HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah also inaugurated the production lines of Typhoon and Hawk T2 for Qatar in Warton in the United Kingdom.
In Boeing Company plant in the US State of Missouri, he inaugurated the F-15 aircraft production line for the Amiri Air Force.
The signing ceremony for the establishment of the Qatari squadron of the NH90 helicopter, and a contract for the construction of seven new-generation naval vessels took place in Rome.
In January, it was agreed to establish a joint operation fleet between Qatar and the UK to ensure mutual combat readiness, increase joint measures in the fight against terrorism and develop strategic efforts towards stability inside and outside the region.
Qatar, represented by the Ministry of Defence, signed a security agreement with Nato at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
This agreement seeks to establish a bilateral military strategy to consolidate security and peace in the region and strengthen the efforts of Qatar and the Nato in confronting the security challenges in the world.
As part of the land, air and naval defence exercises, Qatari forces carried out a series of exercises with the participation of the forces of a number of friendly countries.
In order to enhance military action, the Ministry of Defence has established a company named Barzan Holdings that aims at enhancing the military capabilities and investment in the defence industry.
The company also supports research and development efforts in the field of military technology.
With regard of the State’s keenness in the educational process, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani patronised the 11th edition of the Education Excellence Day ceremony.
He also patronised the inauguration ceremony of the Qatar National Library (QNL).
The Water Security Mega Reservoirs Project, which was inaugurated recently by the Amir, is another achievement of Qatar and the largest of its kind in the world.
The Amir launched the web portal of the Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic, the first of its kind in the history of Arabs and Arabic, and reflects Qatar’s keenness to protect the Arabic language and promote the identity of the Arab nation by promoting its language.
In the framework of the Qatari interaction with international concerns, the Amir, Prime Minister of Malaysia and the UN Secretary-General honoured the winners of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award, during a ceremony held in Kuala Lumpur this month.
In the field of energy, Qatar Petroleum (QP) was able to achieve rapid steps locally and internationally in the oil and gas sector especially in 2018.
QP conducted an international technical study to assess the various sedimentary basins at a global level, in co-operation with French Petroleum Institute (IFP). The study will be used to direct QP future plans towards the field of global exploration and production.
In terms of acquisition and global exploration agreements, a consortium including QP won the bid for exploration and production of offshore in the Sultanate of Oman, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and South Africa.
QP signed an agreement with Shell to develop LNG marine fuelling or bunkering infrastructure at strategic shipping locations across the globe.
For the rest of the achievements, Qatargas and RasGas have been merged to create a world-class operator of scale, service and reliability that will create significant opportunities for operating cost savings of nearly QR2bn annually.
Qatar Petroleum has also announced that drilling operations to expand LNG production in Al Shamal field will begin in 2019.
Regarding the area of athletic achievements, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani patronised the ceremony of revealing the design for Lusail Stadium, the venue at which the opening and final games of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar will take place.
All the projects are proceeding in accordance with a timetable.
In July 2018, the Amir officially received the mantle of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and in October 2018, the Amir was re-elected as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). On Qatar’s sports team, Qatar National Teams (Al-Ada’am) have made a series of achievements and many titles contributing to raising the flag of Qatar in international forums.
Qatar had hosted the 48th World Artistic Gymnastics Championships for the first time in the Middle East with the participation of more than 700 players of 80 countries around the world.
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