Qatari Amir visits Philippines April 21-22

2024 April 21

Philippine Embassy in Doha, Qatar (Facebook)

MANILA – The Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, will visit the Philippines on Sunday and Monday upon the invitation of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

“The two leaders are expected to exchange views on regional issues and to discuss PH-Qatar bilateral relations which now covers cooperation in the areas of labor, climate change, trade and investments, energy security, education, youth, and sports, among others,” the Presidential Communications Office announced on Saturday.

The Peninsula Qatar reported that after the Philippines, the Amir will next go to Bangladesh and Nepal.

“During the tour, His Highness the Amir will hold discussions with the leaders of these countries and their senior officials on ways to enhance cooperation, in addition to discussing a number of issues of common interest. Additionally, agreements and memoranda of understanding will be signed in various fields. His Highness the Amir will be accompanied by an official delegation,” the English daily reported, also on Saturday.

Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the current Amir’s father, was the first Qatari head to visit the Philippines. He attended the state dinner hosted by the late President Benigno Aquino III and witnessed the signing of some agreement on April 10, 2012, before flying home on the same day.

Strong ties

Philippine Ambassador to Qatar Lillibeth Pono said the Amir’s state visit is “a strong indication of flourishing relations between our two countries.”

“It also provides an excellent opportunity for the two sides to have a personal exchange of views on bilateral issues and foster greater engagement arising from a shared sense of responsibility as regional and global actors,” she said in a statement.

Pono said the Philippines and Qatar have concluded over 20 agreements, including on investments, taxation, air services, labor, establishment of a political consultation mechanism, agriculture, as well as economic, commercial, and technical cooperation.

“We are hopeful that during the visit of HH the Amir, we are able to conclude more MOUs (memorandum on understanding) on other key areas of cooperation, particularly in the field of trade, climate change, consular matters, sports, and youth,” she added.

To date, the embassy said there are over 270,000 Filipinos who call Qatar their home.

From Qatar to Paris

The Amir’s visit also happens two days after Filipino-American gymnast Levi Jung-Ruivivar became the 10th Filipino to book a ticket to the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The 17-year-old sealed her slot after a silver medal finish Friday in the uneven bars at the 2024 FIG Artistics Gymnastics World Cup Series being held in Doha, the Philippine Sports Commission confirmed on Saturday.

Another Fil-Am, Emma Malabuyo, hopes to join Ruivivar but it depends on the final standings.

She failed to reach the final of the women’s floor exercise on Thursday.

Only the three highest scores in the four-series World Cup, which ends in Doha, will be counted in the Olympic qualification rankings.