Chairman of the German Parliament's Defence and Security Committee (Bundestag) Stephan Mayer stressed the importance of the visit of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Germany, expressing his great appreciation for this visit. In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), Mayer stressed that Qatar and Berlin have an almost identical position on most global issues, as well as their role in calming and mediating efforts on all regional and global issues.
Chairman of Defense and Security Committee of the Bundestag assures QNA of the importance of HH the Amir's visit to Berlin
He said that the relations between Qatar and Germany are very close and important, pointing out that he was always convinced of the need to strengthen relations between the two countries. He added that after the Russian war against Ukraine, the development of relations has become an urgent necessity for the two countries to join efforts to solve many problems, expressing his belief that the two countries can do a lot together, not only in terms of meeting the needs from the energy sector, especially from liquefied natural gas.
The prominent German parliamentarian revealed what impressed him in Qatar during his recent visit, which is the great improvement in the implementation of social standards, with regard to workers, He said it was a very big improvement, and stressed that Qatar has the best legal frameworks in terms of its performance. Regarding the issue of Afghanistan, he stressed that Qatar played a wonderful role in this country, not only in terms of holding negotiations between the Taliban and the United States, but also in terms of evacuating people from there, and Berlin greatly appreciates this, especially since Qatar played a very important role in evacuating Germans and other nationals of other European countries from Afghanistan.
Regarding Qatari investments in Germany and the economic relations between the two countries, he said: "I am completely convinced that good bilateral relations, especially in the field of economy, are in the interest of the two countries and their peoples, because Qatar is a very ambitious and successful country, Germany is the largest economy in the European Union, and certainly we rely a lot on trade, export and import, and are very interested and open to foreign investment in Germany, especially from Qatar; So I think we should consider strengthening and intensifying our economic relations, as well as with regard to mutual investment in both countries." Regarding Qatar's preparations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, he said: "What impressed me a lot during my last visit is the preparations made by Qatar. Almost all of the eight stadiums were ready, and I attended one of the matches as well, and one of the beautiful benefits of this year's World Cup is that all stadiums are close from each other, which makes it easy to watch more than one match in one day, which is very interesting in football, as well as security preparations that meet the requirements of FIFA and international standards."
He stressed that Germany is ready for full security co-operation with Qatar during the World Cup, especially in light of Qatar's impressive preparations to host the largest football event in the world this year, expressing his conviction that the World Cup will be a wonderful event in Qatar, and it will show the whole world how Qatar kept its promises. On his expectations for his country's chances in the World Cup, Mayer said that Germany is in a very difficult group, especially in light of the presence of the Spanish national team, expressing his hope that his country will qualify for the next round.
Regarding the energy crisis in Germany, he said that Berlin is determined to reduce its dependence on natural gas and Russian oil, and will diversify its supplies of energy sources, and find new partners in this field, and of course Qatar is at the top of these partners; because of the strong relations between the two countries.
In this regard, he referred to the visit of German Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Dr Robert Habeck to Qatar and the results he got from the visit, as well as the positive impressions that have become between the two parties, expressing his belief that Qatar should be one of the most prominent Germany's future partners. Regarding cutting off Russian gas from Bulgaria and Poland and the rise in the price of gas, he said, "This is a question that I cannot answer. Rather, I think that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the one who should answer it, especially if Russia is going to cut off gas and energy supplies to other countries or not, but my position is clear." It is very important, to reduce dependence on oil, natural gas and Russian coal as quickly as possible, but certainly it is not possible to cut off supplies, especially natural gas from Russia overnight. This is different from oil, oil can be replaced more easily than natural gas."
He explained that natural gas is used in many German industries, and there is a region such as Bavaria that depends 90% on Russian gas, and a ban or a decision to abandon Russian gas would have huge negative repercussions on German industries, especially industries in Bavaria, for example, in the chemical industries.
On his expectations for the extent of the continuation of this war, the prominent member of the German Bundestag expressed his hope that the war would end soon, and said: "On the other hand, there are signs that this war will not end in the short or medium term; So I think we have to prepare for what's coming, and that this war, which is against international law, will last at least for another month, maybe years."
Regarding the number of refugees that Germany has received since the beginning of the war, he said: "Officially, we have received about 360,000 refugees from Ukraine, but to be honest, this is not the real number. We are very open, we show our solidarity, the community does a lot, volunteers also do a lot at the local level to host and house refugees, but of course we need to register all these refugees, and distribute them fairly across all the 27 member states of the European Union."