By Ray Chickrie
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – After five years of dormancy between Guyana and Qatar, Guyana’s new president Dr Mohammed Irfaan Ali, on Tuesday held talks with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to expand economic and diplomatic ties.
During a telephone conversation, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali discussed several key areas of collaboration and cooperation with Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, a release from the office of the president said. “Qatar’s Emir used the opportunity to express congratulations to President Ali on his inauguration and committed his willingness to assist Guyana.”
The two leaders identified areas for collaboration in the agriculture sector through investments in the Halaal industry, expansion of the housing programme, the strengthening of diplomatic ties between the two countries, and support in other critical sectors including energy, oil and gas, and infrastructure.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad committed to providing Guyana with much-needed equipment including portable military hospitals and ventilators, which will significantly bolster Guyana’s capabilities in fighting the pandemic, the office of the president said.
“Both president Ali and His Royal Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani committed to mobilising technical teams from both countries, immediately following the discussions. The teams will include the foreign ministers of both countries as well as the energy minister from Qatar and Guyana’s natural resources minister and agriculture minister.”
Guyana also wants to access resources from the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). The two heads of State committed to visiting each other to discuss the partnership between the two countries further. The Emir of Qatar is expected to visit Guyana. Former leaders of Guyana Bharrat Jagdeo and Cheddi Jagan have visited Qatar.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Guyana’s minister of State and presidential Envoy George Hallaq met with the Qatar Chamber first vice-chairman Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Twar Al Kuwari at the chamber’s headquarters.
Twar said that Qatar chamber is ready to extend all support to strengthen cooperation between Qatar and Guyana, particularly in economic and commercial aspects.
“This meeting is a start for a new phase for cooperation between both sides, especially in light of the interest of Qatari businessmen to explore the investment opportunities abroad in line with the state’s economic diversification strategy,” he said.
According to the Qatar Peninsula news, the chairman of the Qatari Businessmen Association, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani also met with the presidential Envoy George Hallaq to discuss ways to develop bilateral relations between the two countries.