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Ashraf Siddiqui
Qatar is a responsible state led by its visionary leadership playing a significant role in the areas of knowledge, science, research, education, youth development and sports, said Ambassador of Portugal to Qatar HE Dr Antonio Alves De Carvalho.
The envoy said Portugal, as member of the European Union and currently holding EU presidency during the first half of the year, takes Qatar in parallel with the EU objectives and goals. Talking to Qatar Tribune in an exclusive interview, the ambassador said, “Qatar is an open country to the world that follows basic international norms, and believes in dialogues to solve bilateral conflicts and issues and in multilateralism.”
Referring to Qatar’s efforts in arranging the Afghan peace dialogue and other efforts, he said Qatar has established its position as a mediator by offering its platform to resolve international conflicts.
He praised the leadership and the people of Qatar for the country’s fast development and the way it has been handling challenges wisely, taking the country forward with wisdom and integrity.
He highlighted a number of areas where Qatar and Portugal can work together like energy, trade, tourism, sports and culture.
Talking about Qatar-Portugal bilateral relations, the Portuguese envoy said the second meeting of Joint Commission on Economy, Trade and Commerce is expected to hold in Doha in the last quarter of this year or early 2022 considering the present COVID-19 pandemic situation.
He said the first Joint Commission meeting was held in 2014. “However, a number of bilateral instruments and MoUs have been signed since the establishing of political relations in 1982 until 2014.”
He said that recently, the two countries held the second round of talks via webinar reviewing bilateral political relations. Qatar’s delegation was headed by Secretary-General of Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs HE Dr Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, while the Portugal side was led by General-Director Ministry of Foreign Affairs Madam Madalena Fischer.
The envoy said that Portugal, in the presidency of EU for the first half of 2021, set priorities to address challenges facing the world like climate change and WTO issues.
He added that the return of the US under President Joe Biden’s leadership to Paris Agreement and multi-lateralism would help in addressing the major challenges to the humanity, particularly to review and establish World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules with the consent of all member states of WTO to have their right share.
Dr De Carvalho, a law graduate who holds doctorate in European Studies, is in the Gulf region for the first time.
He started his diplomatic career working in the Directorate of Middle East in Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Portugal in 1986 and almost 34 years after his first assignment, he got his first-ever posting in the Arabian Gulf region to Qatar in October 2020.
Prior to this, he has served in the Vatican City, Brazil, the USA, Germany, Uruguay and Guinea Bissau.
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