Qatar to open embassy in Czech capitalReading Time: 2 minutes
Czechia and Qatar signed bilateral agreements on Wednesday, as the Gulf state announced that it will open its first embassy in the Czech capital of Prague in the next few months.
Qatar ruler Sheikh Tamim met Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala in Prague, and said mutual relations will be explored in the areas of health, energy and investment.
After their meeting, Fiala tweeted that “Czech-Qatari relations have been deepening successfully in the last years and I believe that our cooperation still has a great potential, primarily in the field of trade, investment and energy.”
The world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas, which also sits on 12.5% of the earth’s natural gas reserves, has been of increasing interest to European countries seeking to diversify their energy sources, in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. For its part, Qatar is interested in investing in Europe and potential visa-free access to EU nations.
Sheik Tamim and and Czech President Milos Zeman later discussed foreign policy, regional matters, including “the Ukrainian crisis”, and international situations. Qatar always calls for dialogue and diplomacy as the only means to resolve all disputes, a joint statement said.
Noting that the relations between the two countries that were established 32 years ago, Sheik Tamim said Qatar had observed the opening of the Czech Embassy in Doha last month and plans to open its own resident embassy in Prague “in the coming months”.
This will move bilateral relations to a new stage of cooperation and partnership. A Czech-Qatari joint committee will follow up on these, the joint statement added.
The Qatari ruler noted that the two countries will also sign an agreement to protect bilateral investments after the European Commission ratifies the deal, and recalled the countries’ existing agreement on double taxation.
Zeman told Qatar News Agency in an interview that Czechia’s doors are “wide open” to Qatari investors, which enhances bilateral co-operation. “Qatar is increasing its gas production and might also be a good chance for Czechia in the long term,” Zeman said.
On Czechia holding the EU presidency during a time of multiple European crises, Zeman said his country will focus on two topics: the Russian military operation in Ukraine and the reduction of its effects, and the energy crisis.
There are many proposals, one of them is the windfall tax, which means reducing extreme profits of energy firms, and this will not be pleasant for those firms, but good for national economies, Zeman said.
Sheik Tamim pointed out that his country will host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 from next month, and expressed his welcome to Czech football fans.