Pak­istan, Qatar sign his­toric LNG ac­cord

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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