Minister Evarist Bartolo concludes official visit to Qatar

Reference Number: PR210135, Press Release Issue Date: Jan 22, 2021
Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo, together with the Maltese delegation, has concluded a bilateral visit to Qatar.

During this visit, Minister Bartolo chaired meetings with the Minister of Trade and Industry, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and the Chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority.

These discussions focused primarily on bilateral relations, in particular new opportunities for cooperation that could be explored between Malta and Qatar. Courtesy meetings were also held with the Chief Executive of Qatar Airways Group on the possibility of resuming flights between the two countries.

The Maltese delegation held a cordial meeting with the Founder and Chairman of Al Faisal Holding, which is also the largest shareholder of the BNF bank in Malta, during which the two sides explored ways of strengthening the financial sector in Malta.

The Minister also visited the Qatar Foundation, which runs educational projects worldwide. He spoke with the foundation about collaboration in health research, programs on dialogue between different religions, and programs that provide early schooling to children on how to resolve their disputes through mediation, respect and reason, instead of resorting to fighting and violence.

At the political level, the two sides held talks on ways to strengthen ties between them, and on how Malta can improve its presence in the Gulf. In this regard, Minister Bartolo explained that Malta intends to open a new Embassy in Doha in the near future. Regional issues of mutual importance were also discussed, including the situation in Libya, the Middle East peace process and developments in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Minister Bartolo said his visit to the State of Qatar is timely due to recent GCC developments aimed at improving stability in the Gulf region. In this context, he welcomed Al Ula’s statement of the 5th of January 2021 on the return to full diplomatic relations by members of the GCC and Egypt with the State of Qatar.

Minister Bartolo stressed that Qatar is an important regional player in the Gulf and, like Malta, believes that disputes should be resolved through negotiations in a spirit of compromise rather than through the use of arms and conflict. He added that Malta will continue to seek to strengthen the already excellent relations between the two countries, in order to open new avenues for the business community, for tourism and for other economic operators to exploit the opportunities offered by the State of Qatar.

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