Qatar Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani paid a courtesy call on President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in Malacañan Palace on Wednesday, August 15.
The Qatari official is in the country for a two-day official visit, which is expected to strengthen bilateral ties between the Philippines and Qatar.
Upon arrival, the official signed the official guestbook of Malacañang and then introduced the members of his delegation to the President.
He and the President had a meeting together with their top officials. President Duterte also hosted a merienda cena for the visiting Qatari official and his delegation.
Qatar’s Emir Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is expected to have a state visit to the Philippines later this year. Qatar was one of President Duterte’s stops when he visited the Middle East in April last year.
Qatar has been an important market for Philippine products and also for its labor force overseas.
In 2017, Qatar is the Philippines’ sixth export market and fourth import market in the Middle East. It is home to around 255,000 Filipinos, most of whom are working in the nursing and services sector.
Philippine officials who were present during the courtesy call include Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, and Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Alan Timbayan.
On the Qatar side, present were Director of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saad Bin Ali Al Kharij, Qatari Ambassador to the Philippines Ali Ibrahim Al-Malki, Director of Asian Affairs Khalid Ibrahim Abdulrahman Al-Hamar, Assistant Director of the Foreign Minister’s Office for Political Affairs Naif Abdullah Al-Emadi, and Ambassador of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Meshaal Saeed Al Mazrouei. ###PND