By Ray Chickrie
GEORGETOWN, Guyana – President of Guyana David Granger has called for the expansion of ties between Guyana and Qatar in the areas of oil and gas, aviation and tourism during the accreditation ceremony of Qatar’s ambassador to Guyana, Ibrahim Al Abdullah last Wednesday, September 9, 2019.
“Our relationship is predicated on mutual respect’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, cooperation for mutual benefit, respect for treaties and international law and the maintenance of regional peace and security,” Granger said.
President Granger hailed the recent air agreement between Guyana and Qatar and said that he hopes it “strengthened our bond of friendship … pave the way for future cooperation in investment, enhanced trade, air travel and the movement of people.”
He added, “Guyana welcomes this important milestone and remains committed to working with the government of Qatar to enhance air connectivity in an effort to link the Caribbean and the Middle East.”
President Granger also called for the “deepening cooperation with Qatar in trade, capacity building, and education. I also wish to suggest that new fields of cooperation in energy and tourism be explored.”
Granger added, “Guyana is keen on enhancing partnerships with experienced oil producers such as Qatar and called for “fruitful discussions and exchanges in the oil and gas sectors of both our countries.” Qatar is also looking to seal an oil agreement that will allow it to enter the Guyana oil sector.
Ambassador Ibrahim Al Abdullah said: “I am looking forward to cooperating with members of your government, to develop and enhance the already exciting, cordial relations between both of our countries.”
Since 1996, Guyana and Qatar establishment of diplomatic ties. Relationships with Doha become more cordial after Guyana joined the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and several Guyanese top diplomats, foreign ministers, Clement Rohee and Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett visited Doha.
Guyana isn’t happy with the Qatar embargo imposed by its neighbours, the foreign secretary of Guyana, Carl B. Greenidge said. He called for an end to the Qatar embargo when he spoke at OIC gathering in Abidjan, Ivory Coast two years ago.
Greenidge said: “Guyana notes with concern the current embargo against Qatar, and echo the call for the OIC to continue to promote and maintain solidarity between and among the member States with a view to addressing in a cooperative spirit, the prevailing challenges which confront the organization in the 21st century.”
Guyana and Qatar have worked closely with each other in the OIC and the United Nations. Granger said Guyana is a commitment to deepening engagements and cooperation with Qatar for common approaches and solutions to address global challenges.
President Granger also told the Qatari envoy that Guyana is committed to a ‘green state’ and places great emphasis on the protection of “the environment, the preservation of our biodiversity, the promotion of renewable energy and the adoption of practical measures to ensure climate adaptation.”