Qatar's Amir Scheduled to Attend Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Kazakhstan

Qatar's Amir Scheduled to Attend Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Kazakhstan

Sheikh Tamim and President Tokayev to Discuss Doha and Astana’s Relations

Qatar’s Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, is set to visit Astana to participate in the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit before proceeding to Poland later this week.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the Amiri Diwan announced Sheikh Tamim’s upcoming visits to Kazakhstan and Poland, where he will engage with the leaders of both nations.

During his time in Astana, the Amir will meet with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to discuss enhancing bilateral relations and addressing various regional and international issues of mutual interest on the sidelines of the SCO summit.

According to The Associated Press, discussions at the summit are expected to include the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, although significant breakthroughs are not anticipated by the conclusion of the meetings.

A senior Kazakh official, speaking anonymously to AP, suggested that sideline discussions about Ukraine would be extensive, given the significant concerns among SCO member states.

Established on June 15, 2001, the SCO comprises permanent members such as India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Observer countries include Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia.

Qatar Achieves 'Dialogue Partner' Status in SCO

Although Qatar is not a member of the SCO, it achieved 'Dialogue Partner' status in September 2021 during the summit in Tajikistan, marking a notable achievement in Qatari diplomacy. Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated that Doha was among 19 countries that applied for this status.

This milestone followed Qatar's pivotal role in facilitating mass evacuations during the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul on August 15, 2021.

The upcoming summit is expected to be attended by leaders from SCO’s permanent members and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Iran will be represented by Acting President Mohammad Mokhbar, as Iran has yet to elect a successor following the tragic deaths of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in a helicopter crash in May.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev are also scheduled to attend the summit as guests.

While the summit coincides with the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip involving Israel, it remains uncertain whether this issue will be on the agenda.

Kazakhtelecom Sells Subsidiary to Qatari Company for $1.1 Billion

Qatar-Kazakhstan Relations

Doha’s initial investments in Kazakhstan date back to 1997, coinciding with the transfer of the capital from Almaty to Astana. Qatar notably funded the construction of the Astana Mosque, a prominent landmark in Kazakhstan’s capital city.

In 2020, Qatar was among the first countries to provide medical assistance to Astana to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. This assistance included medical supplies and vaccines distributed globally as part of Qatar’s efforts in the global fight against the pandemic.

Kazakhstan is a pivotal economy in Central Asia, accounting for 80% of the region’s total trade volume. Intra-regional trade surged from $5.8 billion to $10 billion (a 73.4% increase) between 2018 and 2022, according to The Astana Times.

Last year, Kazakhstan expressed readiness to expand and diversify its exports to Qatar with a target of reaching $250 million.


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