King Felipe VI of Spain welcomed His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Her Highness the Consort of the Amir Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim al-Thani at the state dinner banquet hosted by the king and Queen Letizia in their honour at the Royal Palace in Madrid on Tuesday.Last updated: May 19 2022 12:19 AM
In a welcome speech, the King of Spain said: "It is an honour for me and the Queen to receive you and to welcome you and the important delegation that accompanies you on your first official visit to Spain," expressing his happiness for meeting the Amir at an important and meaningful timing, which is the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Qatar and Spain.
He stressed the importance of this visit in which it was decided to upgrade the distinguished relationship between the two countries to the level of a strategic partnership that looks forward to the future with a greater ambition. He underlined that the relationship with the Arab countries is a fundamental pillar of the Spanish foreign policy, and it had important outcome, such as the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991 and the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona in 1995.
He noted that Spain wants in this context to strengthen its presence in the Gulf region and hopes to establish more stable and strategic ties that correspond to the increasing importance of this region in the world, in which he stressed that Qatar plays a major role. King Felipe VI congratulated the Amir on the accomplishments achieved by Qatar, noting that the State has turned into one of the most economically dynamic countries in the world, the most prominent and established in energy supplies, has the highest per capita income and the highest level of education, and has shouldered the responsibilities of facing great challenges, especially the organisation of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The king praised Qatar's role in mediation and conflict resolution, and expressed the two countries' common aspiration for a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East through the two-state solution.