The United Kingdom is extremely happy at the pace at which its bilateral relations with Qatar is growing and the Britons are hopeful that the relations would continue to record a significant growth in the coming days, said UK Ambassador to Qatar Ajay Sharma.
In an interaction with a select group of journalists at his official residence last Thursday , Sharma said the relations between the UK and Qatar were built on a long shared history, interests, thoughts, values and objectives and above all exceptionally good personal equations between several people of both countries too have contributed to better relations.
“In short, the relations between the two countries are growing from strength to strength, especially in the last few years,” said the envoy, who also said both His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and British Prime Minister Theresa May are keen on building stronger and long-standing partnerships between the two countries.
The ambassador said the Joint Typhoon squadron formed between UK and Qatar marked an important milestone in the countries’ defence relations. On a visit in the UK last summer, British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson hosted His Highness the Amir at the standing up ceremony of the UK-Qatar Joint Typhoon Squadron, he recalled. Talks to further strengthen the close defence partnership between the two countries were held at their meeting.
“Qatar shares very close relations with the UK and it is the only country with which we have a joint squadron.”
The ambassador hoped Typhoon jets would boost the Qatari military’s mission to tackle challenges in the Middle East, supporting the region’s stability besides delivering security at home. He also said the Joint Squadron would provide the Qatari Amiri Air Force (QAAF) with invaluable experience in operating the aircraft and speed up their preparations for when the first the QAAF Typhoon are delivered before the 2022 Fifa World Cup is kicked off.
“The relations between the two countries would be longer than the normal 30-year lifespan for Typhoons,” he said,
While answering queries on the trade and investment relations between the two countries, Sharma said the UK would continue to work closely with Qatar and an important MoU to accelerate Qatar investments in the UK was signed during the visit of HE The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nassar bin Khalifa’s visit of London in March 2017.
As per the MoU, Qatar would invest QR25bn in such areas as real estate, retail, finance, and gas infrastructure among others in the UK in the next 3 to 5 years. “I am so happy to say Qatar has already committed more than half of its promised investments and the country is certainly ahead of the schedule,” said the ambassador.
Sharma also added that Qatar’s investments in the UK, which is spread over such areas as real estate, retail, gas distribution networks, shares in companies and finance among others, is worth over QR175bn.
The ambassador also recalled that an MoU was signed between the two countries to providing food security to this country, making use of the services of the experts from UK. (Source)