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EU to open embassy in Qatar this year

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BRUSSELS, Feb 21: Secretary General of the EU’s External Action Service, Stefano Sannino, and Qatari State Minister for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi signed in Brussels Monday the Establishment Agreement for the new EU Delegation (embassy) to the State of Qatar.

They did so on behalf of High Representative Josep Borrell and Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, said a statement released by the EU External Action Service, the EEAS. Symbolically, today’s signature takes place on the same day as the 26th EU-GCC Joint Cooperation Council in Brussels, it noted. With the opening of the Delegation to Qatar, the EU will reinforce its presence in the Gulf, which is a region of key importance for the protection and projection of European interests, it said.

The opening of the EU Delegation, announced during the visit of High Representative Josep Borrell in Doha last September, is planned for this year, it said. The mutual EU-Qatari relations have been strengthening steadily over recent years. A Cooperation Arrangement between the EEAS and the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs was signed in 2018. A Human Rights Dialogue was launched the same year, and in October last year Qatar became the first Gulf country to sign a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement with the EU, said the statement. A diplomatic presence in Doha will help the EU further strengthen the very solid bilateral cooperation with Qatar, it said. With the new Delegation to be opened in Doha, the number of EU Delegations and offices worldwide will reach 145 and the EU will be diplomatically present in 136 countries. (KUNA)

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