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Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar held bilateral consultations with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani in Doha today. During the meeting the two leaders reviewed various aspects of bilateral cooperation and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest including the situation in Afghanistan.

While discussing the bilateral relations, the Foreign Minister said that Pakistan attached immense importance to its special relations with Qatar and that it was keen to further strengthen and diversify these relations in all fields. She underlined the need to build a mutually beneficial economic and trade relations between the two countries and invited Qatar’s investment in the energy, infrastructure and agriculture sectors. The Foreign Minister also urged the Government of Qatar to hire more Pakistani workers adding that the 90,000 strong Pakistani community was playing an important role in the development of the fast growing State of Qatar.

Talking about the situation in Afghanistan, the Foreign Minister said that Pakistan fully supported the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process. She briefed her counterpart the various steps Pakistan had taken to facilitate the process. She noted that only an all-inclusive intra-Afghan dialogue would ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan on a sustainable basis.

Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani said that there was a strategic convergence of views between Pakistan and Qatar on various regional and international issues including peace and stability in Afghanistan. He also said that the economic prosperity and stability of Pakistan was very important to Qatar and assured the Foreign Minister the full support of his Government in this regard. He also appreciated the role Pakistan was playing to facilitate the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Khar also called on the Amir of Qatar, His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Khalif Al Thani and conveyed the greetings and best wishes of the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan attached high importance to the regional and strategic position of Qatar in the Middle East and appreciated the leading role it was playing in the Muslim world today.

The Amir expressed satisfaction over the current state of bilateral relations between the two countries and assured Qatar’s full support to Pakistan’s efforts in facilitating peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. He also appreciated the role of Pakistani community in Qatar and assured the Foreign Minister that his Government would seriously look into the possibility of hiring more Pakistani workers. He also assured the Foreign Minister that Qatar would continue to support Pakistan’s desire to have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the GCC countries.

The Foreign Minister also held a detailed meeting with the Minister for Energy and Industry, Dr Mohamed bin Saleh Al Sada and discussed various projects with a view to enhance cooperation in the energy sector.

03 March 2013

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