4 Decades of Diplomatic Relations between the State of Qatar and the Philippines

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Qatar and the Philippines.
The Ambassador

His Excellency Qatar Ambassador to the Philippines ALI BIN IBRAHIM AHMAD AL-MALKI, Embassy of the State of Qatar in the Philippines

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SINCE 1981, the relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of the Philippines have been characterized by a convergence of views on many international issues, where relations continue ahead by the common will and mutual concern, proceed in the right direction and develop day by day towards the highest levels of cooperation and at all levels, in order to achieve the common interests and serve the interests of the two friendly peoples.

The State of Qatar gives great importance to relations and partnerships with Asian countries as part of its strategy to deepen cooperation and partnership with Asia, as it is a vital and important field with regard to economic and political cooperation, given its impact on the overall regional and global economy, and in a way that promotes the common interests of the State of Qatar and its partners on the continent. The celebration marking the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Qatar and the Philippines is a celebration of the successes achieved in terms of these relations, which are characterized by solid and fruitful friendship that has grown and developed over the years, and is stronger and stronger today than ever before, hence the celebration of this anniversary is at the highest levels. For the two countries, it is a great symbol and a sign of optimism for the future, and an indication of the firm determination to move forward in the development of these relations, and therefore the celebration of the 40th anniversary represents an important milestone in the course of relations between the two countries.

Qatar and the Philippines.
Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

 

Qatar and the Philippines
President Rodrigo R. Duterte

To commemorate this occasion, His Excellency President Rodrigo Duterte sent to Emir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, which included, “I send my warmest congratulations to your Highness and the people of the State of Qatar on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. Qatar is an important friend and partner of the Philippines since 1981, Our bilateral relations are growing stronger and more important, and they are continuing now even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. On this happy occasion, I renew the commitment of the Philippines to strengthen the bonds of friendship between our two countries, and I hope, with our joint efforts, to push the Philippine-Qatar partnership to new heights that will
benefit the common interest of our peoples. Your Highness, the great reform that you have undertaken to protect and welfare of migrant workers in the State of Qatar, including 241,000 Filipinos living in your country.”

This is beside the message sent by His Excellency the President to His Excellency the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Abdul Aziz Al-Thani, In the context of the 40 th anniversary of the relations, His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr. to His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who said, “On behalf of the government of the Philippines, I would like to convey to your Excellency my warm congratulations on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between the Philippines and the State of Qatar. Along these years, our bilateral relationship has gone through several distinct milestones due to the firm cooperation and mutual support on important issues, in both regional and multilateral forums. One of the prominent issues in our close relationship is communication at the people’s level, which was established over the years, and now it represents the central pillar of Filipino-Qatari relations. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to your Excellency, and to the government of the State of Qatar, for the kind care enjoyed by Filipino workers living in Qatar, and I look forward to continuing to work with you to strengthen the bilateral relations and friendship between our two peoples.”

To celebrate this great occasion, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, sent a message to His Excellency the Foreign Minister Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr., it was stated in its contents, “I would like to express to you with all pride the strength of the relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of the Philippines and its people, and the passing of forty years of bilateral relations, which represents a great historical milestone, and that the Filipino community in Qatar has always been a constructive element in the development along that Years, and Qatar has always been their second home. Finally I would like to send deservedly my appreciation for the pictorial speech that you published on this occasion on the website of your esteemed ministry, and I look forward to cooperating with you in a way that strengthens bilateral relations between the State of Qatar and the Philippines in all fields.”

Qatar and the Philippines
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani

 

Qatar and the Philippines.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin, Jr.

Based on its principles, based on justice and fairness, the State of Qatar has always appreciated and valued the role that migrant workers, and their contribution to the development of nations, and therefore it took the step of
reforming labor laws, in which it was the pioneer and provided the model to be emulated and represented a roadmap for other countries to follow its approach. And it also became the first country in the region to adopt a uniform minimum wage, which was praised by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and other labor institutions and after the adoption of Law No. 19 of 2020 on August 30, 2020, which came into effect, migrant workers can now change jobs before the end of their contracts without the need to obtain a no-objection certificate from the
employer, and in addition to canceling the exit visa, the law effectively eliminates the sponsorship system and marks the beginning of a new era for the Qatari and regional labor market.

On the humanitarian side, Qatar provides free health care for expatriate workers, the distribution of masks and preventive devices, vaccination and free treatment in the event of infection with Covid-9, and medical records for workers have also been launched. Viewing it, providing health service for examinations and determining treatment accordingly. The implementation of a nutrition program, the first of its kind, to improve workers’ nutritional systems and increase their awareness of the importance of preserving their health, as the vision of the State of Qatar is focused on investing in people, developing their capabilities and maintaining their health regardless of whether they remain in Qatar or move to another place, which contributes to comprehensive human development.

Qatar and the Philippines
A night scene in Doha, Qatar. (Credit: Kamal Darwish on Unsplash)

The cooperation between the two countries extends to the popular and humanitarian sphere, and the Philippines, with its picturesque nature, diversity, and hospitable people, has formed an important tourist destination for many
Qatari citizens, and Qatari voluntary organizations are still practicing their activities through community development projects, for example the housing project implemented by the Qatar Red Crescent Society in Mindanaoo, in addition to interventions during disasters, as the State of Qatar sent to Philippine more than 50 metric tons of humanitarian aid for the victims of the Typhoon “Rolly”, including tents, generators and rubber rescue boats, received by Red Cross Society, in addition to the revival of trade exchange between the two countries. It should be noted, however, Qatar Airways may be the only one that has been operating throughout the lockdown due to the pandemic, evacuating departures and transporting returnees, vaccines and safety tools.

In the meantime, the Embassy of Qatari in the Philippines continues to work to strengthen the bilateral relations, bonds of friendship between the two countries, through continuous contact with officials, and communication at the popular level, through direct meetings and as well through what it publishes on its website and its pages on Facebook and Twitter, beside that the celebration of the National Day of the State of Qatar has remained before the pandemic to be a meeting place for all of these spectrums, and every effort is made to strengthen relations and move them to new horizons, as stated in the message of His Excellency the President and His Excellency the Minister. (/)

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All photographs and Qatar symbol courtesy of Embassy of Qatar.

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