HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser with King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia at the official welcome ceremony at El Pardo Palace in Madrid yesterday. The Emir and Sheikha Moza are on a three-day visit to Spain.
They are accompanied during the visit by HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani, HE the Deputy Premier and Chief of the Emiri Diwan Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiah and a high-level official delegation. The Emir and Sheikha Moza last night attended a dinner banquet held in their honour by King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia at Zarzuela Palace. In a speech on the occasion, King Juan Carols praised the co-operation and consultation between Qatar and Spain in political, economic and trade fields. Addressing the gathering, the Emir referred to the “historic and cultural heritage” that binds Spain and the Arab world. “We are proud that the Arab presence in Spain, spanning eight centuries, had left clear hallmarks in various sectors and contributed to this heritage and to making Spain a bridge for civilization between the East and West and a pillar for the European renaissance.” The Emir expressed his appreciation of the Spanish people’s supportive stand for the Arab peoples’ march towards progress, freedom and justice. He said the Arab people were living through an eventful time of transformation, pointing out that every great transformation had its responsibilities, liabilities, hopes and aspirations. He said the visit would offer an opportunity for consultations, taking into consideration the Spanish monarch’s long experience on the march “towards freedom, democracy and social peace”. Today, the Emir is to hold talks over lunch with Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, after which several agreements will be signed, Spanish media reported
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