Qatar and Turkey yesterday signed a number of agreements as the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani began a two-day visit of the country. On his arrival at Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport, the Emir was received by Turkish President
After a round of talks, the two countries signed an additional protocol on regulating recruitment of manpower. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the fields of radio and television and news between Qatar Foundation for Information and the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation was also inked. The two countries also signed an agreement on cancellation of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and private passports .
The talks which were held at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski, were also attended by the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani, Minister of Economy and Finance H E Yousuf Hussein Kamal, Minister of Labour H E Dr Sultan bin Hassan Al Dhabit Al Dossary, Director of the Emir’s Office
H E Sheikha Hind bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, among others.
Following the talks, the Emir and the Turkish president held a meeting which was also attended by the Qatari premier.
The Emir described his country’s relations with Turkey as “historic” and underscored his keenness to further these ties in all spheres. The Emir was speaking at a joint press conference with the Turkish president following the talks between the two sides. The Emir thanked Gul for the invitation. He appreciated the role being played by Ankara in issues in the Arab world, citing Turkey’s stand during the invasion of the Gaza Strip. “We agreed on all the topics we had discussed and we are keen to implement them, particularly the energy issue,” the Emir said, expressing the hope to see the pipeline from Qatar to the south of Turkey. There will be a committee for studying the issue in addition to studying other subjects in the petrochemicals sector, he added.
Answering a question on the ‘Gas Exporting Countries Forum’, and whether the body will be similar to OPEC, the Emir said it is the right of a country to seek protection of its interests, pointing out that now there is no coordination among the gas exporting countries.... “Until now, we have not taken any steps like those of OPEC,” he said.
Gul thanked the Emir for the support provided by the Qatari government to Turkish companies in Qatar.
On a question on whether Qatar and Turkey have a joint plan to mediate between Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas, the Emir said: “If the Palestinian parties wish, we are ready, acknowledging Turkey’s role in this regard.
The Emir recalled Saudi Arabia and Turkey had sought reconciliation between the two movements but did not succeed. “As you know, Hamas was elected but the West refused to deal with it. “The Palestinian issue is a complicated one but I hope for a solution to it,” the Emir added. In the evening, the Emir attended a dinner banquet hosted by Gul.
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