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State Visit of His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar to Sri Lanka

qatar emir-pres 24mar2015

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar arrived in Sri Lanka on a State Visit today, 24th March 2015 at the invitation of President H.E. Maithripala Sirisena. 
The Emir of Qatar who is on a South Asia tour, was warmly welcomed on arrival by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, accompanied by Minister of Highways & Investment Promotion, Hon. Kabeer Hasheem as the Minister-in-Attendance, and Sri Lanka Ambassador to the State of Qatar, H.E. Jayantha Palipane.
H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani assumed duties as the Emir of the State of Qatar on 25th June 2013, following the peaceful transition of power in Qatar. The current visit follows the historical visit to Sri Lanka by his Father Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani in January 2012, which was the first ever State Visit by a Head of State of Qatar to Sri Lanka.
This visit is also the first by a leader from the Middle East and Gulf Region after President Maithripala Sirisena was elected as the President of Sri Lanka. 
The Emir of Qatar and the President of Sri Lanka held bilateral consultations at the Presidential Secretariat. The discussion centered on matters of bilateral significance. The main subjects included cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, tourism, labour relations, energy, air connectivity, etc. Highlighting the air connectivity between the two countries with 28 flights per week and 12 bilateral agreements in place for cooperation in a wide array of fields, the President mentioned of the immense potential for further cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two countries.  
Congratulating the Emir of Qatar on winning the host country status for the 2022 Soccer World Cup, the President expressed the hope that it would also open up more opportunities for Sri Lankans to participate in large scale infrastructure projects that would be initiated. 
Following the bilateral discussions, three (03) Memoranda of Understanding were signed on Cooperation in the fields of Sports, Mutual Cooperation on Exchange of News and Youth.  His Excellency Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah signed the MoUs on Behalf of Qatar while Hon. Navin Dissanayake, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Hon. Gayantha Karunathilaka, Minister of Mass Media and Hon. Niroshan Perera, State Minister of Youth Affairs, signed the respective MoUs on behalf of Sri Lanka.
The high level delegation accompanied by the Emir of Qatar comprised Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Energy, Finance, and Economy & Trade as well as senior officials of the Government of Qatar. The Sri Lanka delegation led by President, included the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, Power & Energy, Tourism & Sports, Foreign Employment, Mass Media,  Highways & Investment Promotion , Disaster Management, Industry & Commerce, Urban Development, Water Supply & Drainage, Muslim Religious Affairs & Posts,  State Minister of Youth Affairs a Member of Central Provincial Council, Secretary to the President, Senior Official Officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other Senior Government Officials. 
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Ajith P. Perera was present at the Airport for the departure ceremony accorded to the Emir and the delegation.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
24th March 2015

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