Qatar-UK ties will continue to grow

 16 Apr 2018 - 9:10

Qatar-UK ties will continue to grow

The Peninsula

DOHA: The British Ambassador to Qatar, Ajay Sharma, recently welcomed around 700 guests to the British Embassy to mark the 92nd birthday of H M Queen Elizabeth II and to celebrate the strong partnership between the UK and Qatar. 

The guests of honour in attendance were Minister of Education & Higher Education, H E Dr Mohammed bin Abdulwahed Al Hammadi and Minister of Transport and Communications H E Jassim bin Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti.

The British Ambassador also hosted senior Qatari figures from business, government and sport, the Diplomatic Corps and other key members of the local community. They were entertained by the Qatar Armed Forces band and Doha Jazz.

“It is always an enormous honour and pleasure to celebrate here in Doha the birthday of Her Majesty the Queen, who will be 92 later this month. I know that the tremendous respect and affection that we have in the UK for Her Majesty is shared by many across the world — including by our friends here in Qatar. She is so much more than a Head of State,” said Sharma. 

“We have known each other as countries, as peoples, for a long time — and we have been together for a long time, longer than anyone else. We have a shared history, in defence and security dating back to the 19th century, with Colonel Pelly and Sheikh Mohamed Al Thani – the father of Sheikh Jassim; in business and trade, with the discovery of oil in Qatar and with UK companies the first to be here in so many sectors; and in culture and education. Generations of Qataris have studied in the UK, from Sandhurst to Wales” he said.

“And we are looking forward to building on this shared past and building a shared future too, as we support the 2022 World Cup in Qatar — which we want to be a huge success and as we support Qatar’s 2030 National Vision — in areas such as education, with British schools and universities, in healthcare, with British medical expertise and equipment, the diversification of the economy, including the development of SMEs, digital economy and food security,” he added.

He also said that  ambitions for the UK’s relationship with Qatar haven’t changed as a result of the GCC dispute. 

“We, of course, want to see the GCC dispute resolved as quickly as possible. We recognise the impact this is having on families and ordinary people. We fully support Kuwait’s mediation efforts and working closely with our friends in the region and in the US, in Europe, to support resolution. In this context, I would like to note our appreciation for the way Qatar has handled the dispute — its openness to dialogue and its restrained approach. I sincerely hope that the visits to Washington by His Highness the Emir and other regional leaders bear fruit,” said Sharma. 

“Whatever happens with the dispute, the relationship between Qatar and the UK will continue to grow from strength to strength. That’s what a real relationship, a strong friendship is about, being together in good times and bad, weathering the storms, and making the most of new opportunities. The UK is committed to its relationship with Qatar just as I know that Qatar is committed to its relationship with the UK,” he added.