Ambassador of Panama in Doha Musa Asvat hailed the existing bilateral friendship and co-operation between his country and Qatar, which spanned over 18 years, describing them as close and rooted in respect and equality between the two countries.

In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA) on the occasion of Qatar's National Day, the ambassador pointed out that the Qatari-Panamanian relations have been greatly strengthened since the two countries signed seven agreements in various fields as well as 16 other draft agreements, some of which are ready to be signed.

He noted that Panama attaches great importance to expanding co-operation with Qatar in all areas of common interest, pointing out, in related contexts, that Panama is now a high-income country with one of the fastest growth rates in Latin America during the past decade, which were driven by the expansion of the Panama Canal and large public infrastructure projects.

He explained that one of the priorities of the government's plan under the leadership of Laurentino Cortizo Cohen of Panama includes the revitalisation of the country's economy, pointing out that this is the reason the "Pro Panama" department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was established and the law on public contracts was amended, in addition to strengthening alliances between the public and private sectors. These initiatives go hand in hand with strengthening Panama's relationship with friendly countries, especially as the country's economy grows when its foreign policy is effective, he added.

In this regard, the ambassador called on Qatari companies to participate in investment projects in Panama and benefit from the advantages offered to foreign companies.

He believed that Qatar and Panama will work together and be able to transfer their bilateral relations to a stage compatible with the real potential for development by providing investment opportunities in partnership projects between the public and private sectors and developing participation in co-operation programmes in education, culture and health.

He congratulated Qatar, His Highness the Amir, the government and the people on the occasion of the National Day. He also congratulated Qatar for overcoming the blockade, including its voice in international forums, supporting just causes and providing humanitarian aid.

He stressed that Qatar has built, throughout its history, the image of a neutral country to mediate in international conflicts, as it follows the approach of dialogue as solution to regional and even global conflicts, in addition to being a country of rapprochement and convergence of cultures just like Panama.

He added that Qatar's vision is to strengthen alliances in Latin America, including Panama, stressing that Qatar's role as a mediator is not only limited to the region.

On his opinion on the efforts of Qatar to contain the coronavirus pandemic and mitigate its effects locally and internationally, he considered 2020 a year of contemplation and new challenges due to Covid-19, stressing that Qatar has become a role model in its management of the crisis. He added that Qatar became, through a nationwide response to the virus, one of the countries that has maintained the lowest death rates in the world through early detection.

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