Qatari emir to visit PHL

The Emir of Qatar is slated to visit the Philippines later this year, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed on Wednesday.

“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,” DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement.

Cayetano met with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who was in Manila for an official visit.

During the meeting, Cayetano expressed hope for a “stronger bilateral ties” between the two countries. The two ministers discussed 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 in the regional and multilateral sphere.

“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,” he said.

Cayetano also conveyed the gratitude of the Philippines for the royal pardon granted to 25 Filipino detainees on the occasion of Eid’l Fitr.

Present during the meeting were Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Middle East and African Affairs Hjayceelyn Quintana, Ambassador to Qatar Alan Timbayan and Qatari Ambassador to Manila Ali Ibrahim Al-Malki.

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 sectors. PNA