Pakistan, Qatar sign historic LNG accord
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said Pakistan is an ideal destination for investors and called upon the Qatar Investment Authority to explore the opportunities in Pakistan's oil and gas sector. The Prime Minister expressed these views in a meeting with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani held here at the Aiwan-e-Emiri. Prime Minister Sharif said Pakistan and Qatar enjoy strong fraternal relations. He said Pakistan has huge manpower and Qatar could benefit by utilizing the services of more Pakistanis. He said the trade and investment in all fields between the two countries must be increased. The Emir of Qatar thanked Prime Minister Sharif for visiting Qatar. He termed Qatar as second home for all Pakistanis and appreciated the role of Pakistanis in transforming and developing Qatar. The two sides also held delegation-level talks.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and Qatar on Wednesday signed four Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) including a long term LNG Sales and Purchase Agreement, cooperation in the fields of Radio and Television, Health and Academic Research activities.
The signing ceremony was also witnessed by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. The first MoU about cooperation between the two countries in radio and television was signed by Special Assistant to the PM on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Minister of Qatar Muhammad bin Abdurrehman Al-Thani.
The MoU on cooperation between the two countries in health sector was signed by Finance Minister Mohammad Ishaq Dar and Qatari Health Minister Hanan Muhammad Alkwari. Both the countries signed Acknowledgement of Long-term LNG Sales and Purchase Agreement between Qatar Petroleum and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources of Pakistan. The document was signed by Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chairman Qatar Gas Board of Directors, Saad Sharida.
While a Memorandum of Understanding in Academic Research and Cooperation Activities between the two countries was signed by Pakistan Ambassador to Qatar Shahzad Ahmed and Commander of Strategic Studies in Qatar Armed Forces Staff Major General Saud Ali Alnaeemi. Earlier, when Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and his delegation arrived at Doha International Airport, they were given a warm welcome. Prime Minister of Qatar Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasir bin Khalifa Al-Thani warmly received the Prime Minister and his delegation at the airport.
Two children attired in traditional dress presented him bouquet. Later, the official receiving ceremony was held at Diwan-e-Emiri where the Emir of Qatar received the Prime Minister and his delegation. Guard of Honour was presented to the Prime Minister on arrival at the palace.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani reviewed the guard of honor. Both the leaders also held one-on-one meeting and exchanged views on regional and international issues of mutual interest while delegations level talks were held followed by signing of the MoUs.
The main focus of the Prime Minister's visit and interaction with the Qatari leadership is to enhance bilateral relations in various fields including energy cooperation, trade and investment, defence and increase in employment opportunities for the Pakistani workforce in Qatar. The Emir of the State of Qatar paid a visit to Pakistan on March 23-24 last year. This return visit by the Prime Minister in a period of less than one year is a testimony of growing relations between the two brotherly countries.
Qatar hosts more than 115,000 Pakistanis, who have been contributing towards the development and prosperity of the country and act as a bridge between the peoples of two brotherly countries. Pakistan gives great importance to its ties with Qatar. The two countries enjoy friendly and fraternal relations marked by close cooperation. Both sides share perception on various regional and international issues.