DOHA, 2nd May, 2016 (WAM) H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has stressed that the UAE and Qatar enjoy strong historic and distinguished relations based on understanding, mutual respect and joint interests to develop them.

Sheikh Abdullah made the remark today at the conclusion of the sixth session of the joint higher ministerial committee in Doha.

The Qatari side was chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, Foreign Minister of Qatar.

Sheikh Abdullah thanked the Qatari Foreign Minister for good hospitality and for hosting the joint session. “This meeting reflects the aspirations and directives of the leaders of both countries. It is also a good opportunity to deepen understanding and review the achievements in the framework of relations between our countries towards new horizons of joint co-operation.”

The UAE Foreign Minister said that his country is looking forward to strengthening co-operation with the sisterly state of Qatar in the areas of trade, investment, renewable energy, culture, tourism, construction, security, defence and others. “We are proud to develop these relations between the two countries.”

He reiterated that the co-operation between the officials of both countries has been increasing in terms of co-ordination in international organisations, at conferences and others, citing Qatar’s backing of UAE candidates.

Sheikh Abdullah said that Qatar is an important partner to the UAE, stating that the volume of trade exchange stood between $6 billion – $7 billion in 2015, compared to $9.2 billion in 2014, thanks to lower oil prices. He noted, “The figure prompts us to explore more options to upgrade the trade exchange.”

He commended the volume of existing investments between them, and added that the number of the UAE companies in Qatar reached 1,074, while the Qatar companies in the UAE are 4,200.

The UAE minister referred to the strategic partnership in Dolphin Company L.L.C., whose production touched 6.1 trillion cubic feet of gas on 31st March, 2016.

Regarding the aviation sector, he said, the number of flights is 175 weekly. The number of Emirati visitors to Qatar reached 117,000 in 2015, while the number of Qataris to the UAE was 231,000 from March 2015 to March 2016.

Sheikh Abdullah commended the agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between the two countries in different fields, adding that they reflect seriousness of the two countries to develop relations.

–MORE– WAM/Majok WAM 1938 2016/05/02 END