Qatar's ambassador to the UK Fahd bin Mohamed al-Attiyah has affirmed that His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani's visit to the UK strengthens the historic ties between the two countries, increasing joint co-operation between the two countries to broader levels in various fields.
In statements to the Qatar News Agency (QNA), the envoy said that this visit is the first in the wake of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, adding that the visit of His Highness the Amir is always welcomed by the British side, and is a station for broader launches to push the process of joint co-operation to greater and broader horizons.
Al-Attiyah said that there will be discussions on many areas of co-operation at the bilateral and regional levels in addition to addressing many issues of mutual concern to the two countries.
Regarding the UK's view of His Highness the Amir's visit, the ambassador said that it is being viewed with great interest, as decision-makers see that this visit comes at a critical time, especially in light of the geopolitical conditions in Eastern Europe.
He added that there is also the issue of Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, and how this conflict continues after more than 70 years of injustice to the Palestinian people.
Al-Attiyah noted that Qatar's role comes to dialogue with the UK and the major powers in the world to enable the Palestinians their right to their land and legitimate rights.
About Qatar's role in the nuclear issue between Iran and the West, and whether it will be on the agenda during His Highness the Amir’s visit to London, al-Attiyah said that everyone knows that Qatar is a pioneer in mediating conflicts worldwide and that the Iranian file is one of the most important issues in the region, which caused many dilemmas in the stability of the region.
Therefore, he said, a radical solution to the Iranian nuclear conflict will be in our interest and the interest of the region as a whole.
The ambassador said that Qatar's role is focused on creating a political horizon through which a final solution to this crisis can be reached.
Regarding the scheduled “Strategic Dialogue” between Qatar and the United Kingdom, al-Attiyah said that the first meeting of the Strategic Dialogue will be held after His Highness the Amir's visit.
This dialogue will cover all political, economic, security, cultural, educational, and sports fields, and all aspects of co-operation, and one of its priorities will be to consider how to raise the level of co-operation in all these frameworks, the envoy added.
The Strategic Dialogue dates are yet to be set, but he expects that it will be in the second half of July.
The ambassador pointed out that Qatari-British relations are witnessing continuous development in various fields.
He said that there is also great co-operation in the military and security fields.
Al-Attiyah said that Qatari-UK relations began more than a century ago with the first agreement between the two sides in 1868.
Since then, he said, the bilateral relations have been developing in various fields, and at the level of regional co-operation.
The envoy pointed out that there are many aspects of bilateral co-operation, most importantly, is in the field of energy, as Qatar is one of the most important countries on which the UK relies for the supply of clean energy, especially liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Qatar has invested nearly 20 years in developing this relationship with the UK to include other areas of clean energy, he said.
Qatar is one of the largest investors in the UK economy.
In addition, he said that there are more than 2,300 British companies registered in Doha.
Regarding the existence of new agreements in the field of energy against the background of the conflict in Ukraine, al-Attiyah said that co-operation between the two countries continues regardless of political conflicts in the world, as Qatar's policy is not to politicise the energy sector, viewing energy is an important source for all.
He stressed that the development of bilateral relations in the field of energy is not limited to LNG.
The envoy pointed out that investment was made last year with Rolls-Royce in producing electricity using clean energy to start its transition to carbon-free energy, an area in which Qatar pays attention.
In 2012, Qatar organised the United Nations Climate Change Conference "COP18", which was one of the most important stations that reflect the country's interest in this field of environment and climate change.
Al-Attiyah said that the country is proactive and therefore finds opportunities for co-operation with the UK in the field of clean energy.
For example, Qatar’s investments through Rolls-Royce covers plans for small nuclear reactors to produce electricity, and the ambassador said that this project is one of the most important Qatari investments in the field of clean energy.
Al-Attiyah stressed that Qatar is always looking to diversify energy sources and reduce carbon emissions.
On trade co-operation between Qatar and the UK, the envoy said that bilateral trade has increased by more than 50% during the past two years, mostly in the energy sector.
Al-Attiyah added that bilateral trade between the two countries will increase to include areas other than energy.
In the field of education and culture, the ambassador said that there are more than 4,000 Qatari students in the UK.
With regard to the sports field, he said that there is co-operation in the organisation of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, with many UK companies working with Qatar to host the event.