A Dynamic Partnership for the future
The Prime Minister and His Highness The Emir of the State of Qatar met today as part of the Emir’s State Visit to the UK, which is a vital milestone in the UK-Qatar relationship. Today the Prime Minister and the Emir agreed to build a new and dynamic partnership for the future, building on the rich shared history between our countries.
In recognition of the importance of the relationship, the Emir and the Prime Minister reaffirmed the principles outlined in the 1971 Treaty of Friendship between Qatar and the UK.
They acknowledged that the UK and Qatar have a deep shared history.
But they also agreed that we should go further, faster in revitalising bilateral ties for the 21st century. And so they committed to building a stronger and deeper relationship between the UK and the State of Qatar, based on a shared vision of new links and new relationships including on foreign policy, peace and regional stability, trade and investment, education, culture, sport and science.
UK-Qatar Defence Co-operation Arrangement
Qatar and the UK enjoy a special defence relationship underpinned by our Defence Cooperation Arrangement (DCA) signed in May 2006. The spirit of the DCA is to recognise
UK support to the Qatari Armed Forces through training and exercises both in Qatar, providing Loan Service Officers and Training Teams to the Emiri Guard, Qatar Military Academy and the Infantry School; and in the UK with many Qatari officers graduating each year from Sandhurst, Dartmouth, the Joint Command and Staff College Shrivenham, and the Royal College of Defence Studies. The Prime Minister welcomed the historical ties between Qatar and Sandhurst.
Trade, Investment & Energy
Trade and investment will remain a vital component of the relationship, and both countries are determined to increase bilateral trade and investment as part of driving sustained global economic growth.
Qatar has a diverse range of investments in the UK including London institutions like Harrods, iconic real estate projects such as the Shard, and major UK businesses such as Barclays and Sainsbury’s. The Emir welcomed British investment in helping Qatar to achieve its ambitious development plans. The two countries will establish a new bilateral Trade and Investment forum to strengthen further links in this area. Qatar is now a major supplier of energy to the UK, and supplied fuel last year in what was the UK’s coldest winter in 30 years - Qatari Liquid Natural Gas imported through South Hook supplied 11% of the UK’s gas demand. The opening of the South Hook LNG Terminal, in which Qatar is a major investor, has helped ensure that Qatar had an important new customer for its gas, while the UK had gained a trusted new energy supplier.
The UK and Qatar enjoy a joint commitment to solving international disputes peacefully. The PM commended Qatar’s successful mediation in Lebanon. Qatar’s work with the AU/UN Joint Chief Mediator for Darfur is also particularly welcome as are Qatar’s mediation efforts in the Eritrea/Djibouti border conflict and in Yemen, between the Huthi and the Government of Yemen. Demonstrable commitment to sustainable peace and willingness to address underlying grievances is critical to preventing a return to conflict and the work of the Qatari Government is invaluable in supporting stability and security in Yemen. Qatar also plays an important role in the Middle East Peace Process, particularly its chairing the Follow-up Committee of the Arab Peace Initiative.
The UK and Qatar share an interest in promoting peace and security in the gulf region. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to finding a diplomatic solution for the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme. The two countries will intensify their high level dialogue by starting regular exchanges at the Ministerial level on regional issues. The joint determination of the UK and Qatar to international development was reaffirmed and should be underpinned by intensified dialogue between the appropriate Ministers.
Cultural, Sporting and Educational Ties
There is real opportunity for strengthening collaboration between the UK and Qatar in the fields of education, sport and culture. The UK hosts some of the best universities in the world and will continue to welcome Qatari students who come to the UK to visit and study. The Prime Minister and Emir also welcomed education and research collaborations with British institutions such as the British Library, the Royal Society, Imperial College and University College London, which is establishing a presence in Qatar.
The two countries also have shared interests and passions in hosting major sporting events. England is bidding to host the 2018 World Cup, and Qatar is one of the candidates for the 2022 World Cup. The Emir looked forward to visiting the Olympic Park to see the magnificent facilities where his country’s athletes will be competing.
The UK and Qatar agreed to work together on improvements to visa services between the two countries with a view to fostering bilateral cooperation. The UK will pursue similar discussions with other Gulf countries.