President meets Qatari envoy

President Mugabe welcomes Qatar Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Khalid Mohamed Al-Attiyah, a special envoy of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Khalifa Al Thani, at Zanu-PF Headquarters in Harare yesterday

President Mugabe welcomes Qatar Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Khalid Mohamed Al-Attiyah, a special envoy of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Khalifa Al Thani, at Zanu-PF Headquarters in Harare yesterday

Senior Reporter
President Mugabe yesterday met the visiting special envoy from the State of Qatar, Dr Khalid Bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, and discussed several ways of improving co-operation between Zimbabwe and Qatar.

Dr Al-Attiyah, who is the Foreign Affairs Minister, was sent by the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, and is leading a five-member delegation.

Speaking to journalists after meeting President Mugabe, Dr Al-Attiyah said the two countries were working towards improving their bilateral relations with the main focus on agriculture and mining.

He said: “I had the honour to meet with President Mugabe. I conveyed to him the regards of the Emir. We have discussed the ways of co-operation between Qatar and Zimbabwe.

“We touched all aspects of co-operation, how can we co-operate in agriculture, mining and tourism fields especially that you have a very good scenery in Zimbabwe, for example, Victoria Falls is a place all of the world would like to come and visit.”

Last year it was reported that Zimbabwe and Qatar would sign several bilateral agreements in agriculture and tourism among other sectors to stimulate trade and political relations.

Agriculture is important to oil rich Qatar and the Gulf region, which do not have much arable land and good rainfall patterns.

The two countries last year signed Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA), which will result in Qatar Airways flying to Harare.

A BASA is an agreement which two nations sign to allow international commercial air transport services between their territories.

The BASA with Qatar had been on the table for seven years despite the fact that Qatar Airways was among several airlines that had expressed a strong interest in flying to Zimbabwe.

Qatar Airways sought to link Zimbabwe to destinations in the Far and Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Europe and Australia via the airline’s hub in Doha.