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Qatar develops special expertise in mediation, facilitating negotiations: German ambassador

Qatar develops special expertise in mediation, facilitating negotiations: German ambassador

Ailyn Agonia
DOHA
As Qatar has proven to be a regional diplomatic powerhouse and a capable mediator between conflicting countries for years, the new Ambassador of Germany to Doha HE Dr Claudius Fischbach has stated interest in promoting a continuous political dialogue between Berlin and Doha on a “very high level”.
Fischbach, who arrived in Doha in August, said supporting Qatar in its mediation efforts and forging solid partnership with the host country in “all important regional issues” is a top priority of his office.
He said, “In recent years, Qatar developed special expertise in mediation and in facilitating negotiations between conflicting parties. We have seen this in the past in Lebanon, in Sudan/Darfur, also between Israel and the authorities in Gaza. It is no coincidence that the Afghanistan Peace Negotiations take place in Doha. Qatar is an experienced host.
“Germany has, as a leading trade nation, a profound interest in a stable and prosperous Gulf Region and in peaceful solutions to the Middle East conflicts. Germany will support Qatar in its efforts of mediation. Germany is always interested in learning more about Qatar’s points of view and its strategies having become such an important player in the region,” Ambassador Fischbach pointed out during a virtual press conference held on Monday.
The envoy also reiterated his country’s strong position in seeing an end to the ongoing Gulf crisis.
He said, “We have always seen the GCC as an anchor of stability in the Gulf. Germany is situated in the heart of Europe and has more neighbours than anybody else in Europe. So, it is natural that we believe in regional cooperation and in regional integration. We definitely hope that the GCC members will overcome their present dispute.”
On Qatar-Germany bilateral trade relations, Ambassador Fischbach said, “There is a solid foundation for future growth for bilateral economic relations” between the two countries.
He also specified the huge potential of Qatar and Germany to overcome the economic impact of COVID-19 as the two countries identify new opportunities such as in the area of pharmaceuticals.
Early this year, it has been announced that the Qatar Investment Authority has invested in the German biotech company CureVac, one of the leading developers of a vaccine against COVID-19.
The envoy added that Qatari authorities have also secured delivery of a vaccine developed by the German company BioNTec, which will hopefully be available very soon.
On investment opportunities, the envoy described Qatar as offering a very attractive environment for investments, due to the efforts by the authorities to improve the ease of doing business indicators in the country.
He cited investments made by Volkswagen in the new Free Zones and in setting up a research facility for the “future of mobility,” working on autonomous driving capacities, e-mobility and other aspects related to the future of our mobility.
“This is a landmark project and I am sure we will see amazing results coming from this cooperation soon. I would also expect other German companies to seize the opportunities arising from Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and invest in Doha,” the envoy said.
Ambassador Fischbach also shared their interest in boosting Qatar-Germany bilateral trade relations in the areas of artificial intelligence and in smart manufacturing.
He said, “We would like to build our economies back in a better way. What I am talking about is what the European Union has termed as Green Recovery. We want a recovery of European and the global economy under the auspices of sustainability. We have to look very closely if all the recovery projects are environmentally friendly.
“We do believe the Qatari-German trade relationship have a huge potential in this regard. We work on the fact that Qatar is building a solar power plant. We would definitely like to direct our public-private-partnerships (PPPs) in that direction of green recovery. And we, as Embassy, would be looking into PPPs that German shares with Qatar in that direction.”
Currently, there are about 1,800 Germans living and working in Qatar and around 300 to 400 German companies actively operating in the country. The German International School Doha (DIS Doha) is the only German-speaking school among the over 300 private schools in Qatar.
The envoy expressed interest in growing the German school, which has been a source of pride for their community here.
He also expressed hope to see more German educational institutions and universities opening in the Gulf and in Qatar as well as encouraging more Qatari students to explore studying in Germany.
On cultural exchange, Ambassador Fischbach said they are hoping to do more in this sector post-COVID-19, including plans to boost European cinema in a form of drive-in cinema which they hope to organise next month.

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