The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration-designate, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, says Ghana is looking forward to receiving a notice of ratification from the Government of Qatar to pave way for the operationalisation of the ‘Mutual Visa Exemption for the Holders of Diplomatic and Special Passports’.
She disclosed that Ghana had played its part by duly ratifying the agreement, and was awaiting its Qatari counterpart to do same.
Ms Botchwey made this known when she held discussions with the Foreign Minister of Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, during an official visit to that country.
The Minster-designate acknowledged the importance of the various Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries, and noted that the agreements would foster strong ties between Ghana and Qatar.
“The MOU relating to the framework for close partnership between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs will afford both countries the opportunity to hold regular consultations at least once every two years on bilateral relations and international issues of mutual interest,” she said.
She therefore expressed gratitude to the Qatari government for being a trusted and true friend of Ghana, and pledged Ghana’s commitment to continue to work towards forging closer ties of friendship and cooperation with the State of Qatar.
She said the government appreciates the concrete steps taken by both countries to strengthen diplomatic ties, following the reciprocal visit of their two heads of state, particularly the inauguration of a weekly Qatar Airways flight to Accra, despite the constraints posed by the raging pandemic.
Ms Botchwey further thanked her counterpart for the contributions made by Qatar to Ghana’s national development, including education, health care, energy, and donations to build mosques in the country as well as extension of food supplies to the Ghanaian community during the height of the pandemic.
Meanwhile, during her meeting with Qatar’s Prime Minister, Khalid Bin Khalifa Bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Ms Botchwey noted that that the bonds of friendship between both countries had witnessed a steady growth.
She commended the Qatari government for its efforts to build a resilient economy for the benefit of its citizens.
Ms Botchwey believes Ghana and Qatar can work towards closer trade and investment cooperation in the field of oil and gas as both are oil producing countries.
On the Covid-19, the Foreign Minister-designate expressed admiration for the Qatari government for its handling of the pandemic so far, which has resulted in a tremendous decline in the infection rates and the number of deaths in the country
“Ghana has also taken several measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and is ready to share its experience with friendly nations such as Qatar,” she said.
She lauded the Government of Qatar for the peace-building role it has been playing in the Middle East, and expressed optimism that there would be a lasting resolution of conflicts in the region.
As part of the activities of her trip, Ms Botchwey visited the Education City Stadium, one of eight stadia being built by the Qatari authorities for the 2022 World Cup.