President Maithripala Sirisena who is on a two-day state visit to State of Qatar, met with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, today.
The President was warmly welcomed by the Emir of Qatar when he arrived at the Emir’s Palace in Doha and President Maithripala Sirisena was received with a Guard of Honour at the Palace.
A Bilateral meeting between the two leaders was commenced after the cordial discussions between the two leaders.
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani expressed his gratitude to the President for undertaking a state visit to Qatar marking the first state visit by the President to the Middle East region.
He also said that this tour of the President will pave the way to further strengthen longstanding bilateral relations between the two countries.
At present Qatar is ranked as the highest GDP per capita in the world. During this meeting both leaders discussed in detail regarding the ways to broaden the ties between the two countries in all the sectors.
The special attention of the Emir of Qatar was drawn to the request made by the President regarding entering into partnership with SriLankan Airlines. He also paid his attention to provide relief for the fees for the certification of Products when exporting more than one ton weight goods to Qatar and promised to do the needful in this regard.
More than 150,000 Sri Lankans are working in many fields in Qatar while some of them are living there with their families. The President requested the Emir of the State of Qatar to establish a school for Sri Lankan children where Sri Lankan syllabus is taught. The Emir, paying attention on that directed the relevant ministers and officials to seek about necessary arrangements on this regard.
The two leaders agreed to appoint a committee, consisting of representatives of both countries to seek paths to cooperation in all sectors.
Sri Lanka and the State of Qatar later signed one agreement and six MoUs:
1. MoU on mutual visa exception for holders of diplomatic, official and special passports – the MoU was signed by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake and Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdur Rahman Al Thani
2. MoU on Cooperation in the field of diplomatic training and research – the Mou was signed by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake and Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdur Rahman Al Thani
3. Agreement of donation for providing emergency relief to Sri Lanka to face drought – the MoU was signed by the State Minister of Foreign Affairs Vasantha Senanayake and Qatari Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Bin Abdur Rahman Al Thani
4. MoU on cooperation in the field of energy – the MoU was signed by the Minister of Power and Industries of the State of Qatar Dr. Mohamed Bin Salih Al Sada and Sri Lankan Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ajith P. Perera
5. MoU in the field of waste water management – the MoU was signed by the Minister of Municipality and Environment of the State of Qatar Mohammed Bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi and Sri Lankan Minister of City Planning and Water Supply Rauf Hakeem
6. MoU in the field of health and medical science – MoU was signed by the Minister of Public Health for the State of Qatar Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari and Sri Lankan Health Minister Rajitha Senarathne
7. MoU in the field of exchange of financial investigations – MoU was signed by the head of Qatar’s Financial Information Unit (QFIU) Ahmad bin Eid al-Thani and the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit of Sri Lanka Dr. H Amaratunga (Colombo Gazette)