Pak, Qatar agree to boost bilateral trade

Doha: Pakistan and Qatar Sunday agreed to boost bilateral trade between the two countries. This understanding came after a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Doha. Matters pertaining to mutual ties and changing situation of the region were discussed in the meeting. Speaking on the occasion, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan will support Qatar at all levels in upcoming FIFA world cup in 2022. He said Pakistan’s trade with Qatar has witnessed an unmatched increase in last year. Qatar’s Foreign Minister lauded Pakistan’s positive role for bringing peace in Afghanistan and the region. He said more opportunities will be provided to Pakistani workers in Qatar. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani also held a luncheon in honor of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Foreign Minister will hold talks with Emir and Prime Minister of Qatar after lunch. Meanwhile, the Foreign Minister also hold meeting with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and other top officials during a one-day trip to Doha on Sunday. Qureshi and the Qatari officials in their meetings discussed the overall regional situation, as well as the Afghan peace process. They also discussed increasing cooperation between Qatar and Pakistan in different fields, in addition to other regional and global issues. Upon arrival in Qatar, the foreign minister was received by top officials of the Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Pakistan in Doha. Before embarking on the trip, Qureshi had spoken about the relationship between Pakistan and Qatar, where a large Pakistani community resides. The foreign minister, who last week wrapped up a whirlwind, three-day four-nation tour of Kabul, Tehran, Beijing and Moscow in connection with the Afghan peace process, had said that Pakistan had decided on “regional outreach” and on taking important allies into confidence, as well as exchanging views with them about the regional situation and the Afghan issue. Qureshi said that Doha had played a role in the peace and reconciliation process in the past and it was therefore important to get their opinion on the matter. Qatar has been hosting the Taliban’s political office since 2013, but Pakistan-backed talks between US and Taliban were held in the UAE capital. This apparently was done to accommodate Saudi Arabia and UAE in the process. Diplomatic observers say the move did not go well with the Qatari leadership.