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Energy, Syria, terrorism focus of Putin-Qatari Emir talks
January 19, 2016, 5:45 am

Putin with Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Kremlin in Moscow on 18 January 2016 [PPIO]

Putin with Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Kremlin in Moscow on 18 January 2016 [PPIO]

Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Emir of Qatar on Monday discussed the Syrian crisis, “cooperation and coordination of approaches in the energy sector, particularly in the gas sector” as well as investment cooperation between the two countries, the Kremlin said.

Describing Qatar as “one of the important players in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf”, Putin said Moscow would “exchange views” with Doha “for solutions and responses to the most serious and complicated problems”.

The Emir of Qatar lauded Russian role in global stability.

“Russia plays a fundamental role in global stability today and we very much hope to develop our relations with Russia and find solutions to a number of problems concerning stability in some of our region’s countries,” Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said both Moscow and Doha were expecting that, in accordance with a UN-backed plan, talks between the Syrian government and the opposition would begin “in the nearest future, already this month.”

The two countries have backed opposing sides in the Syrian conflict.

On Monday, Lavrov said Russia and Qatar had also agreed to step up measures to battle terrorism.

“Concrete steps that can facilitate this have been agreed,” he said.

During Putin- Al-Thani talks in Moscow, the two countries also agreed to ramp up economic cooperation.

“We have common interests in the energy sector, in the gas sector, and Russia and Qatar are both members of the GECF (Gas

“We see our investment cooperation as very important. Many positive results have been achieved of late. I am thinking here above all of the cooperation with the RDIF [Russian Direct Investment Fund] in different investment areas,” he added.

Qatar-Russia bilateral trade amounted to more than $501 million in 2014.

In spite of their considerable trade ties, the two countries have for more than a decade been erstwhile adversaries, writes editor and commentator Firas Al-Atraqchi.

“Qatar’s ambitions to become a regional and global player have in recent months been tamed…At the same time, Russia’s aggressive immersion in the Middle East muddle has altered not only the narrative in the region but physical realities on the ground,” writes Al-Atraqchi in The BRICS Post.

 

TBP and Agencies

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