Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Qatar Deputy Prime Minister Visits Philippines President

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Qatar Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was in the Philippines for a two-day official visit, which is expected to strengthen bilateral ties between the Philippines and Qatar.

The Qatari official, together with his delegation, paid a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in MalacaƱan Palace on Wednesday, August 15.

Qatar was one of President Duterte’s stops when he visited the Middle East in April last year. The Emir hosted a lunch banquet for Duterte and his delegation during his visit to the Gulf. The country has been an important market for Philippine products and also for its labor force overseas.

Philippine officials who were present during the courtesy call include Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, and Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Alan Timbayan.

On the Qatar side, present were Director of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saad Bin Ali Al Kharij, Qatari Ambassador to the Philippines Ali Ibrahim Al-Malki, Director of Asian Affairs Khalid Ibrahim Abdulrahman Al-Hamar, Assistant Director of the Foreign Minister’s Office for Political Affairs Naif Abdullah Al-Emadi, and Ambassador of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Meshaal Saeed Al Mazrouei.

Qatar’s Emir Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is expected to have a state visit to the Philippines later this year.

"We look forward to the State Visit of the Emir of Qatar Shiek Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani later this year, where he will surely be warmly welcomed by President Rodrigo Duterte," Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said.

Cayetano met with the Foreign Minister to discuss the proposed convening of the joint committee meeting on labor matters, investment opportunities, regional issues in the Gulf and other ways to further enhance bilateral relations.

"Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and I had a fruitful discussion on advancing Philippine-Qatar relations, covering all our foreign policy goals and addressing the needs of our nationals in Qatar," Cayetano said.

In their meeting, the foreign affairs secretary also conveyed the Philippines' gratitude to Qatar for granting royal pardon to 25 Filipino detainees during Eid'l Fitr.

In 2017, Qatar is the Philippines’ sixth export market and fourth import market in the Middle East. It is home to around 255,000 Filipinos, most of whom are working in the nursing and services sector.

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