1. What measures are undertaken to fight global terrorism?
Qatar’s stance on terrorism is well known: Qatar, which is currently presiding at the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, condemned terrorist attacks against the US on September 11, 2001, and confirmed that the Islamic world shares their grief and pain and expressed condolences to the families of the victims. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani confirmed that Islam is a genuine religion with principles of tolerance and love, which rejects terrorism and violence, calls for the preservation of the human soul and prevention of aggression against innocent people. Qatar has proven that it vehemently rejects violence and terrorism in all their forms, regardless of their motives and justifications, confirmed its commitment to regional and international efforts to eradicate and combat impunity, to the support and protection of human rights and rights of the nations to their own freedom, dignity and self-determination.
Sheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, said that terrorism is one of the most dangerous challenges in the modern world. Governments have to strengthen their efforts to fight terrorism. He also stressed an importance of elimination of the breeding grounds of terrorism, which is fueled by violence against people.
We re-affirm the importance of identifying extremists and terrorists in such way that does not offend any particular religious or ethnic group.
The attempt of some to exploit particular cases of violence in order to link extremism with a particular religion, such as Islam for example, disrupts efforts to determine the real causes that lead to extremism and ways to tackle it.
Abuse of religious symbols helps extremists recruit new members.
The state of Qatar reaffirms the need to pay more attention to efforts to root out violent extremism in order to confront its origins, and root causes such as attempts to incite conflicts and disputes, occupation, exclusion, discrimination, marginalization, absence of social justice and state institutions, continuing oppression of people and deprivation of their rights by authoritarian regimes. It requires a global response and a comprehensive strategy to put an end to these conflicts and crises in the world
The state of Qatar emphasizes the importance of youth, women and education in the fight against violent extremism.
In this regard, it is important to mention the joint initiative of Qatar with some others states under the auspices of the UN of June 3, 2016 in New York, where it held a meeting called “Children and young people who came under the influence of violent extremism and ways of their rehabilitation and integration into society”.
Confident in the importance of mediation in avoiding conflicts, supporting peaceful reforms and strengthening national reconciliation, Qatar’s diplomacy managed to contain many crises and conflicts. It helped to restore many regions affected by the conflicts.
The state of Qatar is a founding member of an international foundation for community development. It is also one of the main donors of this foundation. The aim is to strengthen the capability to tackle violent extremism. In addition to this, Qatar has founded various organizations and institutions, whose main task is to spread a culture of coexistence, tolerance, dialogue between civilizations and religions and urge nations to fight extremism. The most famous among them are the Doha International Center for Interfaith Dialogue and the Hamad Bin Khalifa Civilisation Center in Denmark.
In conclusion, the Qatar Committee for the Alliance of Civilizations developed a state plan for the Union for 2014-2016, which covers four areas – education, youth, migration and information. Its aim is to tackle the causes of mutual misunderstanding between nations and people and establish strong ties between them.
2. What is the level of cooperation between Qatar and Russia?
Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Qatar were established in 1988. The Embassy of the Soviet Union was opened in 1988, and the Embassy of Qatar was opened in Moscow in 1989. In 1991, Qatar officially recognized Russia as the legitimate heir to the Soviet Union. The visit of Sheikh Tamim Ben Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, to Russia on January 18, 2016 and his negotiations with the Russian government were a significant boost to bilateral cooperation between Qatar and Russia. Today cooperation covers both investment and oil and gas sectors. It has also been developing in culture, sport and defense as well as security and energy.
We are working on establishing relations with Russian regions. There are dozens of agreements signed between both countries. The proposed funding from Qatar reaches six billion dollars. Together with the Swiss company Glencore, the Qatar Investment Authority bought a 19.5 percent stake in Rosneft for 10.5 billion dollars.
On January 25, 2017 Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted H.E. Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Thani, chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority.
At this meeting, president Putin thanked the State of Qatar for investing in Russia, and the chairman of the QIA said that they were ready to invest two billion dollars in the energy sector. The state of Qatar has also bought a stake in the St Petersburg airport.
There are also political contacts between Qatar and Russia. Just recently, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the state of Qatar, visited Russia on April 15, 2017, and his meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. They held constructive negotiations on ways to develop bilateral relations and discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest.
3. What is the progress in preparations for the 2022 World Cup?
The budget is about eight billion dollars. There is large-scale construction work underway to construct sports venues, hotels and roads, including subways. Many projects are funded under the Qatar National Vision 2030.
4. What are the purposes of the Qatar Investment Authority?
The Qatar Investment Authority was founded in 2005 by the decision of the Emir with the purpose of developing, investing and regulating the state reserve fund and other property items entrusted to the Supreme Council in accordance with the policies, plans and programs of the Council. It identifies areas that can be developed through investment. It also creates companies and runs investment projects, sometimes in cooperation with other companies, and participates in existing companies and projects within and outside the country. The QIA makes arrangements, signs contracts and memorandums of understanding. It undertakes legal actions which are important in exercising its powers.
5. In what economic areas, except hydrocarbons, can our countries cooperate?
There are many areas, such as investments in Pulkovo Airport located in St. Petersburg for example, and also arms contracts.
6. How do you estimate the possibility of a visa-free regime for Russians?
Our two countries have a bilateral agreement on visa exempt travels for holders of diplomatic passports signed during the visit of the Emir of Qatar at the beginning of the previous year. As for the free-visa regime for citizens of both states, our agencies are working on this agreement.
7. Which sights are a must-see for tourists in Doha?
Tourists can enjoy the rise of urban development in Doha, visit museums, particularly, the Museum of Islamic Art with its rich collection of paintings and architecture of various epochs. They can also visit the Education City, the City of Culture and tourist beaches.