Doha, June 08 (QNA) - HE Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan to the State of Qatar Khisrav Sohibzoda stressed that the visit of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to his country will open a new page in the history of Tajikistan-Qatar relations, and will bear the desired fruits for the benefit of the two brotherly peoples and the peoples of the entire region, especially since the visit comes in delicate and sensitive circumstances through which the region and the world are going.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA), HE revealed that HH the Amir's visit will include a visit to the Grand Mosque in Dushanbe which was completed by Qatar as a gift from HH the Amir to the Tajik people, as this blessed edifice is a unique project in the Central Asian region.
He said that HH the Amir's visit to the Republic of Tajikistan aims to discuss bilateral relations and many areas of common concern.
The two countries, he added, share political relations that have reached today their highest levels and are based on the existing fraternal relations between the two leaderships as well as the spiritual and cultural ties between the two peoples. Building on these distinguished ties and strong political will, we look forward to strengthening cooperation in the economic, trade, investment, tourism, developmental, humanitarian, cultural, scientific, artistic, and security fields and others.
He pointed out that the leaderships of the two countries will hold discussions on issues related to ways and mechanisms for developing trade and economic relations, and taking them to the level of trade exchange, especially since the State of Qatar is considered a pioneer at the level of the Arab world in the Tajik investment market through the "Diar Dushanbe" real estate project. It is also expected that the talks will address the future of Qatari investments in Tajikistan.
He also indicated that the visit of HH the Amir includes the signing ceremonies of bilateral agreements and new memorandums of understanding, as the Tajik and Qatari sides continue to coordinate through diplomatic channels regarding a distinguished package of cooperation documents, to be signed during the visit, in the fields of investment, trade, economy, industry, agriculture, food security, tourism, youth, sports, environment, banking affairs, and other sectors of common interest.
He explained that the upcoming talks also include mechanisms for activating and implementing the 20 bilateral agreements and memorandums of understanding signed over the past years between the governments of the two countries, ministries and official departments.
He stressed the importance of direct flights between Doha and Dushanbe as it constitutes an important factor in enhancing trade, tourism and cultural cooperation as well as more communication between the two peoples. All procedures were taken by setting the legal framework to launch flights between the capitals of the two countries.
He said that the Tajik side took the initiative to grant Qatar Airways the fifth freedom flights, and the issue is being studied by the Qatari side. Given the importance of direct flight between the two countries in the process of developing trade exchange, Tajikistan looks forward to the initiative of Qatar Airways to operate direct flights between Doha and Dushanbe as soon as possible, he said.
In this context, he stressed that the relations between Tajikistan and Qatar are based on spiritual, civilizational and cultural commonalities between the Tajik and Qatari peoples.
These relations are not new, rather they have their origins, roots and values, and their strength derives from the existing fraternal ties between the leaders of the two countries, which represents a solid ground for the two sides to move towards fruitful cooperation in various fields, he noted.
Based on these factors in particular, Tajikistan and Qatar were able to make remarkable progress in building distinguished relations for the benefit of their peoples, and the two countries have close and similar positions on many international and regional issues, and there is distinguished cooperation between the two sides at the level of international and regional organizations, he said.
He pointed out that Tajikistan hosted the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in 2021, where the participating leaders agreed by consensus to grant the State of Qatar the status of dialogue partner with the organization, which reflects the strength of cooperation between the two countries through international forums.
Thanks to the results of dialogue and continuous communication at the summit and high levels, the political relations between the two countries reached their highest levels, HE the Ambassador said, praising the results of the mutual official visits at the highest level between the two countries, namely the first official visit of HE President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon to Qatar from May 6-7, 2007, and his second official visit from February 5-7, 2017, in addition to the official visit of HH the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani to Tajikistan in the summer of 2007.
He explained that these visits laid solid foundations and bases for building distinguished relations between the two countries and taking them to desired levels, referring at the same time to the recent visit paid by HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Tajikistan to participate in the Fifth CICA Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in June 2019, when His Highness held an official session of talks with HE President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, representing the most prominent event in terms of strengthening bilateral relations between Dushanbe and Doha.
HE the Ambassador of Tajikistan said that his country regards Qatar as an advanced and developed country in the Middle East and at the global level in general. Strengthening and developing cooperation with Qatar represents one of the priority directions in his country's foreign policy, he added. He expressed his country's aspiration to take the economic and trade cooperation relations between the two countries to the level of their political relations as both sides are keen on taking advantage of the available opportunities to activate these relations for the benefit of both countries. He pointed out that the biggest challenge facing the trade and investment movement between Tajikistan and Qatar is that his country is considered a landlocked country, as intra-trade in contemporary times in light of the increasing competitions needs less expensive transportation methods. Therefore, resolving the logistical issue is of utmost importance to activate trade and investment cooperation between the two countries. He noted that Qatar is a pioneer among Arab countries in the investment market in Tajikistan through the "Diar Dushanbe" project, which is being developed by the Qatar Diar Company. The total cost of the project is estimated at $300 million. Its first phase has been completed, and the second phase is scheduled to start during this year, he said, hoping that this project would be an incentive for Qatari investors to enter with confidence in the investment market in Tajikistan. In this context, he said that the renewable energy sector, particularly hydropower, is one of the priorities of the Tajik government to achieve sustainable economic development for the country, looking forward to the presence of Qatar in the investment areas in Tajikistan to implement hydropower projects through the Qatar Investment Authority and specialized Qatari companies. He added that Tajikistan is a country rich in water resources, and it ranks first in the region and eighth in the world in terms of hydroelectric energy resources, which are estimated at 527 billion kilowatt-hours, but the country exploits only 4 or 5 percent of these resources, noting that about 98 percent of the electricity in the country is produced by renewable hydropower. HE the Ambassador touched on the joint governmental committee for economic, commercial and technical cooperation as it represents a pivotal mechanism and an important element for activating and following up economic, commercial and investment cooperation between Tajikistan and Qatar. The third session of the joint committee meetings was held in Dushanbe from August 29-31, 2018, and saw the signing of the meeting protocol, which stresses the need to enhance cooperation in the economic and trade fields in addition to the sectors of banking, health, education, culture, sports, and tourism. Discussions are taking place between the two sides to hold the fourth session of the committee's meetings in Doha, he revealed, while looking forward to the next session producing practical results of cooperation, in a way that meets the directives of the two leaderships and the aspirations of the two peoples. His Excellency stressed that there are promising opportunities and capabilities for both sides to enhance cooperation in various sectors of the economy and trade, especially in the investment sector, as Tajikistan has a promising and distinct investment climate, which gives foreign investors many guarantees and facilities to establish investment projects, and there are several areas to which Tajikistan gives priority in the course of its economic and social development as well as developing its investment market in order to achieve the plans and goals set within the 2030 National Development Strategy. He also stressed that cultural cooperation is of great importance in strengthening relations between the two countries in general, and in bringing together the Tajik and Qatari peoples who have spiritual, civilizational and cultural ties that extend over centuries, hoping that cultural days for the State of Qatar will be organized in Tajikistan. He said that the Tajik and Qatari peoples are linked by lofty civilizational and spiritual values and deep historical and cultural ties. These bonds and ties were cemented after Tajikistan gained its independence in 1991 and later recognized by the countries of the world as an independent, sovereign state, and an integral part of the international family. He added that the State of Qatar was one of the first countries to announce its recognition of the sovereignty of Tajikistan. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the two parties have been moving forward towards continuing the path of constructive, mutually beneficial and steady cooperation relations at the political, economic and social levels that are based on fraternity, good understanding, dependence and respect, he added, noting that Qatar is today an important partner for Tajikistan in the Arab world and the Middle East region. He also noted the State of Qatar's remarkable humanitarian stances supporting Tajikistan in resolving social and humanitarian issues, especially in overcoming the effects of natural disasters. He stressed that cooperation in the field of sports is also one of the important areas for relations between the two countries, and that sport in all times has a special and unique mission in promoting peace and friendship between different peoples, saying Qatar's hosting of international championships in various sports reflects constructive efforts and future policy thinking in providing regional and international peace and stability. Tajik athletes participated in several international matches in Doha, he said, praising the close cooperation between the two Olympic committees and other sports institutions in both countries. HE the Ambassador of Tajikistan appreciated the role played by Qatar in the international arena, highlighting the high status of the State of Qatar internationally today. In cooperation with the international community, Qatar plays an active and constructive role in resolving crises, consolidating peace and sustainable development in various regions of the world, he added. We welcome the activation of all means that help and facilitate the process of peace negotiations in Afghanistan and the solution of its problems. In this context, we consider the efforts of the State of Qatar important in advancing the peace process in Afghanistan, and we support it and hope that it will have positive results. At the same time in the negotiations between the Afghan parties, we believe that it is necessary to consider, first of all, ensuring that the interests of the different factions and the different political and social groups in the country are taken into account, because without considering their interests, peace and stability cannot be achieved in Afghanistan. Concluding his interview with QNA, he stressed that the conflict in Afghanistan cannot be resolved militarily. In this regard, providing a platform for dialogue and negotiations between Afghans in Doha is a historic opportunity to resolve conflicts in neighboring Afghanistan, he said. Tajikistan's firm position is that lasting peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved through the broad participation of Afghans, and it welcomes any initiative that opens the way for negotiation among the Afghans themselves, he stressed. He also expressed Tajikistan's readiness, within the framework of the efforts of the international community, to continue its practical contribution to the path of achieving peace, stability, and social and economic development in this neighboring country. (QNA)