Qatar, Tunisia sign a slew of MoUs
TUNIS The Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani and Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi al Jebali jointly chaired the official talks between Qatar and the Republic of Tunisia at the Tunisian government headquarters this evening. Members of the official delegation accompanying HH the Emir also attended the talks.
On the Tunisian side, a number of ministers and senior officials joined the session. Means to strengthen and develop the brotherly relations between the two countries in various fields as well as a number of regional and international issues of common interest came up for discussion between the two teams. At the end of the meeting, HH the Emir and the Tunisian prime minister witnessed the signing of several agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoU) between the two countries. These included an agreement on investing in Tunisian treasury bonds, a memorandum of understanding on exploring the prospects of investment in environmental preservation and in efforts to combat pollution, an MoU on collaboration in vocational training as well as an MoU for cooperation in the field of oil refining and natural gas network programme for Tunisian cities between Qatar Petroleum International (QPI) Company and the Tunisian government, a draft MoU for cooperation between Qatari Electricity and Water Company (QEWC) and the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) besides an MoU between Qatar National Bank and the Tunisian Ministry of Finance. An agreement for investment in development of a project for equipping the railway station in Soussa as well as the extension of an MoU on the Mahdia Town Project were signed by Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and the Tunisian government, in addition to an MoU between the Tunisian Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation and the Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF). Before the official talks, HH the Emir and the Tunisian prime minister held a bilateral meeting.
Earlier on arrival at the Carthage International Airport in Tunis on Friday afternoon on a two-day state visit to the North African country, HH the Emir and members of the accompanying delegation were welcomed by Tunisian President Mohamed al Muncif al Marzouqi. Among others present at the airport to welcome HH the Emir and the accompanying delegation were also the Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi al Jebali, President of Tunisia's Constituent Assembly Mustapha ben Jaafar, Mayor of Tunis Al Adel Belhassan, a number of ministers and senior officials besides Qatar's Ambassador to Tunisia HE Saad bin Nasser al Hemaidi. A red carpet reception was accorded to HH the Emir. In his speech at the airport, HH the Emir extended the greetings of the people and the government of Qatar to the brethren in the brotherly Republic of Tunisia, wising them happiness, progress and prosperity. HH the Emir said: "It gives me great pleasure to meet the president, the prime minister and president of Tunisia's Constituent Assembly and take this opportunity to congratulate them on the first anniversary of the Tunisian revolution and to exchange viewpoints on all issues concerning the relations between the Qatar and Tunisia and other issues of mutual interests. HH the Emir also voiced his conviction that such a visit would further contribute to deepening of ties of cooperation between our two countries for the welfare and goodness of our two brotherly peoples.
In his welcome speech, the Tunisian prime minister said that he had high hopes that HH the Emir's visit would support Tunisia's developmental plans as well as bolster bilateral relations between the two countries. Jebali expressed his thanks to HH the Emir and the Qatari people for their continuous support to the Tunisia revolution and the Arab Spring. He expressed his delight at the signing of agreements which he described as the basis for enhancing bilateral ties. Jebali expressed his hope at enhancing bilateral cooperation in the future as well, wishing HH the Emir a nice stay on the Tunisian revolution's first anniversary. For his part, HH the Emir expressed his thanks to Jebali and president Marzouky for their invitation. HH the Emir stressed that he was looking forward to forging special relations with Tunisia. HH the Emir added: "The Arab world has got an "historic" chance in the wake of the Arab Spring to form an entity similar to the European Union."
He noted that the Arab League was formed well before the EU came into existence. However, HH the Emir pointed out, lack of democracy led to lack of participation in the decision-making, which, in turn, prevented the Arab League from moving forward. Despite that, HH the Emir said that after the Arab Spring, an historic chance has presented itself. HH the Emir said his visit's mission was to congratulate Tunisia on the revolution and to discuss cooperation in various fields.