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Dutch envoy: Qatar’s historic win in Asian Cup marked fantastic prelude to 2022 WC
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Dutch envoy: Qatar’s historic win in Asian Cup marked fantastic prelude to 2022 WC

Every year, the Dutch all over the world celebrate the birthday of His Majesty King Willem-Alexander. This day brings everyone together to enjoy the festivities and promote mutual cooperation, said the outgoing Ambassador of The Netherlands to Qatar HE Bahia Tahzib-Lie. She was speaking at an event to mark the National Day of her country, at Hotel St. Regis Doha. Present on the occasion were State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister HE Dr. Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, Minister of Justice Dr. Issa bin Saad Juffaili Al Nuaimy, Minister of Health HE Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Director of Protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs HE Ibrahim Fakhroo, ambassadors, dignitaries, and a large number of Dutch community member and guests. 
The ambassador said that for the Dutch living in Qatar, King’s Day is “a perfect time to mark the strong bonds between our countries, royal families, companies, and importantly, our people. At a time when intolerance and hostility towards our differences seem to be growing in many regions of the world, it has never been more important that we work together closely as partners”.  
The Dutch envoy cited three areas that demonstrate the successful example of the robust Dutch-Qatari partnership. “The first is sports. To honour Qatar’s historic win at the Asian Cup, a soccer pitch was prepared in the center of the hall,” she said, adding, “sports not only builds character, it reveals it.” 
Congratulating Qatar for the historic win, Bahia said there was no doubt that the victory also marked a fantastic prelude to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, “for which we all feel excitement growing”.
She said that sports unites people across the globe and often provides valuable opportunities for nations to strengthen their cultural, economic and political ties.  
“For example, the Qatar and Royal Dutch Football Associations recently signed an MoU and PSV Eindhoven have already come to nestle in Qatar for the training in the winter.”
Elaborating further, she quoted Head Coach Mark van Bommel as saying, “If the professionalism we have seen at Aspire Zone is anything to go by, I am expecting big things in 2022”.
Dutch company Signify, she noted, has set up the lighting at Al Wakra Stadium -- the venue of the 2019 Emiri Cup. 
She said she expects much more from the recently signed public-private partnership between the Dutch government and a new consortium of innovative Dutch companies and knowledge institutions to invest in sports business development in Qatar in coming years.
The second key area of cooperation, she noted, is empowerment of women. Applauding Qatar, she said women and girls have made great strides in the country, which inspires her and many others. The Dutch embassy actively provides support in this regard, she added. 
An enthusiastic group of Qatari female professionals from a wide range of sectors is currently in the Netherlands for an entrepreneurship training program designed to improve their leadership skills, she pointed out.
With regard to labour reforms, she lauded Qatar’s impressive commitment to improving workers’ welfare and the great progress it has achieved. She said, “We support Qatar’s partnership with the ILO. The Dutch embassy has successfully organised a training programme for Qatari labour inspectors in the Netherlands. In collaboration with the ILO, the Labour Ministry and TriClub Doha, we also hosted the first-ever Qatar Workers Fun Run at Aspire Park where we celebrated Qatar’s remarkable achievements in labour reforms.” 
In her concluding remarks, Bahia Tahzib-Lie said she has been appointed by her government as the Ambassador at Large for Human Rights. “However, I am also saddened in saying good-bye to Qatar. We’ll dearly miss and cherish the wonderful memories of Qatar and the great amazing friends. Qatar has become a precious part of our lives,” she concluded.
— Report by Ashraf Siddiqui 
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