Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has underlined that the current global situation requires a great deal of international cohesion and more diplomatic engagement.
In an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt, the FM spoke about the fears of the creation of large blocs between the East and the West.
“Qatar wants a balanced investment strategy and good work with everyone. As a country in the Gulf Cooperation Council, we want to maintain our relations with the US and Europe while maintaining balanced relations with China, Russia and others. We want to see how we can help in bringing everything together, and to avoid becoming a factor in the division,” the FM added.
Sheikh Mohammed expressed Qatar’s confidence in the German economy and its desire to continue investing in the German companies, despite the difficult times that some companies are going through. He noted that Qatar still has a lot to do in this regard.
He said that Qatar is indeed the largest investor in the German economy from the Middle East, and is always looking for new opportunities, especially in the “Metal Stand” platform.
He said Qatar is focusing its investments in the fields of renewable energies, solar energy, wind energy and the hydrogen economy, in addition to technology companies, the pharmaceutical sector, services, financial and real estate, as well as medium and small companies because they form the backbone of the German economy.
The FM added that Qatar also focuses on battery technology and storage technologies in the field of renewable energies, which present great opportunities in Germany.
Regarding Qatar Investment Authority, the FM explained that Qatar Investment Authority is a long-term investor that aims to create income for future generations through its global investments. It also aims to diversifying the state’s revenues in the future.
“With the state’s sovereign fund, we guarantee our prosperity as a country in the long term. That is why we are diversifying our investments geographically and according to the economic sector,” he said.
He revealed an active dialogue with the Volkswagen Group on ways to intensify cooperation between the Group and Qatar, focusing mainly on the development of self-driving vehicles.
“We are in discussions with Volkswagen Group on conducting practical tests for self-driving of this type of vehicle in the Qatari cities,” he said.
Regarding Qatar’s diversification of its partners, the FM underlined that there is great confidence in the European and American economies, but at the same time there is also confidence in the Asian economies. Therefore, Qatar continues to diversify its partners in all directions, especially towards Asia.
On the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and the role that Qatar can play in this aspect, he said, “Qatar rejects any aggression against the sovereignty of a state, and rejects any use of force against another country. The negotiations between Russia and Ukraine lasted for some time but it stopped, and there must be negotiations to end this war and this suffering. And we are talking to both sides, because in the end, world history shows that war never ends on the battlefield but on the negotiating table, and the faster the better.”
Regarding the presence of Qatar Investment Authority in the Russian oil company (Rosneft) and in VTB Bank and others, the FM expressed his hope that the situation will change as soon as possible, stressing the commitment of Qatar Investment Authority to all sanctions and not breaking any of them.
Regarding the Iranian file, the FM said, “The Iranian leadership has told us that it is ready to find middle grounds. Reaching a solution in this regard will support stability in the Gulf, and pumping additional quantities of Iranian oil to the markets will help stabilize crude prices and reduce inflation.”
On the global hunger crisis that is looming due to the war in Ukraine, he underlined that the most important thing now is for the war in Ukraine to be stopped urgently. In addition, more should be invested in food production in other parts of the world. He said Qatar has already invested in agribusiness in other countries for its own food security, and will expand that, however, that does not diminish the importance of ending the blockade of Ukrainian ports so that the Kyiv authorities can export the food they have stored.
In response to a question about the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the FM affirmed Qatar’s welcome to the German fans and all other fans on its soil to witness an exceptional version of the World Cup. “One should come to Qatar to see what has changed in it over the last years,” he said.
Regarding the rise in gas prices, the FM said Qatar is currently making all efforts it can to help its European partners to cover the shortcomings of the European energy markets.
“We are currently committed with the Europeans and other partners, and we are not changing the destination of LNG tankers although our contracts guarantee us to do this in the event that there is a higher price in another destination. In addition, Qatar is significantly increasing its gas production to be able to export more LNG to Europe,” he said.