*Amir inaugurates Shura Council's 48th Ordinary Session
* Committee headed by PM to finalise preparations for Advisory Council elections
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani has highlighted Qatar’s steady progress across all fronts, overcoming the negative impacts of the unjust blockade which continues for the third consecutive year, in an address to the Shura Council.
He was speaking after inaugurating the 48th ordinary session of the Shura Council at its premises on Tuesday. His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani attended the inauguration ceremony.
His Highness the Amir’s Personal Representative Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani and HE Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa al-Thani were present.
The inauguration was also attended by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and a number of Sheikhs, Ministers, heads of the diplomatic missions accredited to Qatar and other dignitaries.
His Highness the Amir said in his wide ranging speech that the date for the Shura Council elections shall be announced after the completion of the task entrusted to the committee concerned.
Recalling that the term of the current Shura Council has been extended for two years starting from July 1, 2019 until June 30, 2021, he stated that the required constitutional procedures for the elections shall include the promulgation of many important laws and legislative instruments.
His Highness the Amir pointed out that the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar has continued with its illegal practices, despite the crumbling of all the claims propounded to justify it.
“By virtue of God's support, credit for our success in containing most of its negative impacts is attributable to maintaining our calm and decisive approach in handling this crisis, revealing all its related facts to the whole world, while adhering to the independence of our political decision vis-avis attempts to impose tutelage on us, as well as strengthening our bilateral relations with friendly and allied countries.
His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani attended the inauguration ceremony of the 48th ordinary session of the Shura Council. His Highness Personal Representative of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani and HE Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa al-Thani were also present.
“Since the outset of the crisis, we have expressed our readiness for dialogue to resolve differences between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and within the framework of its charter on four bases: mutual respect, common interests, avoidance of dictating a foreign policy, and non-interference in internal affairs.
“The Qatari people, with their noted magnanimity, stood up together as one man in defence of their homeland's sovereignty and principles, because they realise that renunciation of the independent decision-making is conducive to losing the homeland itself along with its wealth and potentials.
“Qatar's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at current prices grew in 2018 by about 15% and non-hydrocarbon GDP by about 9%. The importance of that has been further boosted by the fact that the government has sought this year to restore balance to the State budget, by cutting public expenditure, without affecting priority projects.
“In my address before your esteemed Council in the aftermath of the unjust blockade imposed on us, I stated that this blockade would strengthen our steadfastness and push us forward to deal in a better way with the new circumstances that ensued. And this is what actually happened.”
His Highness the Amir subsequently, focused on the most important initiatives, projects and policies Qatar has adopted, and which show that the country overcame the negative impacts of the blockade, and steadily moving towards achieving the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.
Highlights of the Amir's address
* His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani , His Highness the Personal Representative of the Amir Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Thani, HE Sheikh Jassim bin Khalifa al-Thani, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani and a number of Sheikhs, ministers, heads of the diplomatic missions and dignitaries attended the opening ceremony.
* High Committee headed by the Prime Minister to finalise preparations for the Advisory Council elections. The elections' date shall be announced after the completion of the committee's task.
* Qatar overcame the negative impacts of the unjust blockade by maintaining calm, unity and taking decisive approach in handling the crisis.
Qatar ready for dialogue on four bases: mutual respect, common interests, avoidance of dictating a foreign policy, and non-interference in internal affairs.
* Qatar's GDP at current prices grew in 2018 by about 15% and non-hydrocarbon GDP by about 9%.
* Significant progress made in the field of economic diversification; steps taken to encourage private sector, increase power generation and establish an advanced agricultural and livestock-fish production system.
* Riyal stable; Qatar maintains its robust credit rating. Qatar * Petroleum continues on its course to become a global entity.
Incentives made available for foreign investment; bureaucratic procedures simplified; laws issued for supporting national products; public-private sector partnership encouraged.
* Private sector's participation was to the tune of QR 27bn in major projects over the last five years.
* Qatar keen to equip and empower citizens, who are reminded of their rights and responsibilities. "He who does not give, does not appreciate what he obtains."
* Expatriate residents role appreciated. The Amir said: "Rights, brothers and sisters, are not privileges or a mere sense of superiority engendered by identity or unwarrantable transcendence towards others, because humility is a proof of self-confidence, and showing respect to others is a reflection of self-respect. The responsibilities of citizenship also require being appreciative of the those who have worked hard in building this country, and this includes our resident brothers."
* Steps taken for delivering speedy justice
* International community urged to double their efforts to halt the deterioration of the situation in the region.
* Peace in the Middle East can be achieved only by enabling the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights; need to end the strife in Syria, Libya and Yemen stressed; support for all Sudanese people meeting their aspirations renewed.