Qatar - HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on launching a strategic dialogue between the two countries.

The MoU comes as part of the efforts made to strengthen the close co-operation between the two countries in various fields.

HE Sheikh Mohamed affirmed the remarkable development witnessed by bilateral relations between Qatar and Germany in various fields since the start of relations between them in 1973, noting that the visit of Baerbock is the culmination of 50 years of diplomatic relations and co-operation between the two countries.

“We discussed several issues, on top of which was the strengthening of bilateral co-operation between the two countries,” HE the Prime Minister said during a joint press conference with Baerbock after the MoU-signing ceremony at the Amiri Diwan.

Also, the promotion of friendly relations and the emphasis on co-operation in all fields were discussed along with the latest international developments. Discussions focused on economic relations, particularly the energy field and investment in clean energy and co-operation in the education field.

HE the Prime Minister said the discussions covered the prospect of further investments by Qatar in Germany and increased co-operation on energy transition.

The topics also included regional security, education and the environment, he said, expressing the aspiration of Qatar to establish a mechanism that promotes the establishment of joint projects with Germany, according to QNA.

"The friendship and partnership relations between the two countries extend for decades, and we see remarkable development in them in recent years, especially in the field of investment and energy. We look forward to creating a mechanism to promote the establishment of joint projects with Germany. The strategic dialogue is an important platform for discussing energy and co-operation," HE the Prime Minister said.

In response to a question about the Qatari-German partnership in the field of gas, the signing of a long-term agreement between the two countries, and whether there are negotiations with the rest of the European Union regarding gas supplies, the nature of the relationship with European partners in light of the green agenda and Europe's tendency to move away from carbon sources, HE Sheikh Mohamed said: "The agreement between Qatar and Germany is a commercial agreement between companies, and this is the policy of Qatar with regard to energy, as QatarEnergy has signed with a group of German companies... which is an energy supply relationship like our relations with all other countries. We look forward to strengthening co-operation in this field, and at the governmental level, strengthening dialogue on co-operation in the field of energy in general and co-operation in the field of energy transition policies.

"The issue of energy transition and the green agenda, which today represents a priority for the European Union countries, is a global priority However, the criteria may differ from one country to another. There is room for co-operation and capacity-building for all countries, so that there will be a safe transition to energy in accordance with the agreed frameworks, in a way that achieves our interest at the national and international levels, as well as the national and international interests of the European Union countries."

He said the two sides emphasised the importance of co-operation in facilitating humanitarian aid for civilians in Sudan and meeting their needs. "The meeting stressed the importance of engaging in broad negotiations involving all political forces to reach a comprehensive and sustainable peace agreement,” HE Sheikh Mohamed said. "We welcome the agreement between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support forces signed in Jeddah."

Regarding Palestine, he noted that Qatar condemns the bombing of civilians in the Gaza Strip.

Regarding the Ukraine war, HE Sheikh Mohamed said the discussion highlighted the need to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

On her part, Baerbock said: “This form of exchange with Qatar pursues the goal of working together even more closely in the future and exchanging ideas. We can also exchange views on issues where we have significantly different perspectives. And we seek to agree on a binding global goal on the expansion of renewable energy. We discussed the developments in Sudan, Syria and Yemen."

Noting that natural gas supplies from Qatar will help Germany diversify its energy sources, she said: “We want stability in energy supplies through the relationship with Qatar."

The German minister noted that Qatar and Germany are striving for closer ties and praised Qatar’s stand on the Ukraine war, saying the country has clearly raised its voice against the war.

Asked about Syria's return to the Arab League and the crisis in the country, HE Sheikh Mohamed said the only solution is to find a just and comprehensive solution to the issue in Syria. He noted that there is joint Arab action "in which we all agree on the goals that there will be a safe return of refugees and finding a political solution in accordance with United Nations Resolution 2254."

"We clarified our position regarding the decision on Syria returning to the Arab League. Qatar doesn't want to deviate from the Arab consensus on this issue, but leaves each country its sovereign decision to normalise bilateral relations," he said.

He touched on the co-ordination between the countries of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, in addition to Egypt, Jordan and Iraq, regarding the Syrian issue, saying in this context, "The positions differed, not about the goals, but about the methodology to reach these goals, and this is a natural thing."

He stressed Qatar's support for constructive work to achieve these goals, and for any step of normalisation with the regime to contribute to achieving such a goal. "The issue is not between us and the Syrian regime, the issue is between the regime and the people, and the solution that will be implemented to restore stability in Syria must be a solution that satisfies this people, who have suffered from the scourge of this war over the past 12 years," he said, adding: "Qatar does not give any consideration to the criticisms directed at it arbitrarily."

“We seek that the Syrian people live in safety and stability and that there be a political process in the country,” Baerbock said, noting that the brutality of Syria's president against his people cannot be ignored.



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