Emir of Qatar to Visit the Philippines this Year

The Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, will be visiting the Philippines this year, the Philippine News Agency reported.

Qatar is the Philippines’ 6th export market and 4th import market in the Middle East. Also, it is home to thousands of Filipinos, most of whom are overseas workers, and the Emir’s visit in the Philippines could definitely lead to stronger ties between the two countries.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Qatar last April 2017
Image Credit: Peninsula Qatar

Emir of Qatar’s Official Visit to the Philippines this 2018

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed last Wednesday that the Emir of Qatar is scheduled to visit the Philippines later this year.

DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said that they are looking forward to the State Visit of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani later this year. He also said that the Emir will surely be warmly welcomed by the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

DFA Secretary Cayetano had a meeting with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who had an official visit in Manila. During the meeting, Secretary Cayetano expressed hope for “stronger bilateral ties” between the two countries.

The leaders discussed ways to enhance bilateral relations in the regional and multilateral sphere, including the proposed convening of the Joint Committee Meeting on labour matters, investment opportunities, and regional issues in the Gulf.

Secretary Cayetano believes that they had a fruitful discussion on advancing Philippine-Qatar relations, covering all foreign policy goals and addressing the needs of the Filipinos in Qatar. Also, he conveyed the gratitude of the Philippines for the royal pardon granted to 25 Filipino detainees during Eid’l Fitr.

The meeting was also attended by Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Middle East and African Affairs Hjayceelyn Quintana, Ambassador to Qatar Alan Timbayan, and Qatari Ambassador to Manila Ali Ibrahim Al-Malki.

The Emir visiting the Philippines is good news for both the Qataris and the Filipinos. This could lead to a better relationship between the two countries and their people. In particular, the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who are working in Qatar are likely to benefit as well.