Doha: The Kingdom of Spain is one of the State of Qatar’s important partners in the investment and commerce fields, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani who praised the vision of the Spanish government regarding economic transformation in Spain.
He further said that the State of Qatar looks forward to being part of that transformation and a supporter of it.
During a joint press conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of the Kingdom of Spain, H E Jose Manuel Albares Bueno, Sheikh Mohammed praised ties between the State of Qatar and the Kingdom of Spain, noting that the two countries enjoy strong cooperation in all fields, particularly in the investment and economic cooperation fields and both parties have reiterated to enhance that partnership.
His Excellency added that they discussed during a meeting to work together and means to intensify international efforts regarding developments in Afghanistan, and stressed the importance of having a unified international position regarding these developments, especially those related to the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
He noted that the people of Afghanistan need the help and it is important that international efforts unite in that regard, stressing the importance of maintaining the freedom of transportation and travel to and from Afghanistan, and updated him on the latest developments regarding Kabul international airport.
The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs pointed out that he discussed with the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs different regional issues including the latest of developments in the Middle East led by the Palestinian cause. He stressed that the position of the State of Qatar regarding the two-state solution and that the Palestinian people must gain their full rights.
Speaking about evacuating Afghan citizens through Doha, he said it is taking place in the framework of international cooperation, noting that Qatar is assuming some of the costs with support from allies, noting that such matters cannot solely be viewed through the lens of financial cost alone, but must also incorporate the humanitarian perspective as it involves saving lives.
He highlighted that the position of Qatar regarding conditions in Afghanistan is that country cannot be boycotted nor can communication with the Taliban be severed because it formed the government. He said Qatar seeks to have continuous dialogue and it would be wrong to ignore Afghanistan. He added that Qatar believes that the Afghan people deserve support, which can only be given through interaction.
He said Qatar and Turkey worked together since the United States left the airport and Qatar sent a technical team to meet the minimum requirements to operate the airport and transport passengers through commercial flights.
Sheikh Mohammed added that negotiation on operating the airport are still ongoing, saying there needs to be a clear agreement with all parties on who will be in charge of the different aspects related to operating the airport like the technical and security sides. He highlighted that it was possible that another country could also help, saying that discussions are currently between Qatar, Turkey, and the Taliban.
Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation stressed his country’s pride in the strong relations with the State of Qatar, noting that Qatar is one of the most influential investors in Spain.
He noted the potential to achieve a lot in this partnership, and that both sides are committed to strengthening it within the framework of the economic recovery plan in Spain and the trend towards an innovative and sustainable digital economy.
Qatari investments have a role in the Spanish economy and Spain looks forward to welcoming the Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Spain to promote the partnership between the two countries, he underlined.
The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed his appreciation of the State of Qatar’s efforts to prepare for the World Cup 2022, adding that his country is ready to help with necessary expertise in that field.
He said tourism plays a big role in the bilateral relations, noting that his country has received 5,000 Qatari citizens. He also highlighted the remarkable cooperation in the healthcare field, praising Qatar’s progress in its COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
He hailed the role of Qatar in realising stability in Afghanistan, especially in the evacuation operations, and its efforts to improve the future situation in the country. He also stressed that one of Spain’s priorities is to help the Afghans who worked with it, stressing that it will not leave any of them without help, expressing his concern over the current economic and political situation in Afghanistan.
The Spanish Minister underlined the confidence of his country and the international community in the essential role played by Qatar in achieving stability in Afghanistan and helping the Afghan people, affirming his country’s commitment to preserving the human rights gains achieved in Afghanistan over the past 20 years.
On the role of Spain in Afghanistan, the Minister said that there is European consensus on three things that must be achieved, which are the freedom of movement for those who have cooperated over the past years and who have the necessary documents to reach the European countries; the arrival of relief and humanitarian aid which were allocated during the donors conference and in which Spain announced ¤20m; and the respect for human rights, especially the rights of women and girls.