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Cooperation in the Gulf: Foreign Minister Maas meets Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Al-Thani Qatar

Foreign Minister Maas with his Qatari counterpart

Foreign Minister Maas with his Qatari counterpart, © Photothek.net/Thomas Trutschel

04.03.2020 - Article

Alongside the tense situation in the region, their talks focused on the two countries’ cooperation on foreign policy issues and bilateral cooperation on labour rights.

Qatar is one of Germany’s partners on the Arabian Peninsula and is committed to many regional and supraregional issues. The meeting of Foreign Minister Maas and Qatari Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Berlin focused on foreign policy cooperation between Germany and Qatar.

Consolidating progress in the peace process in Afghanistan

Foreign Minister Maas offered his Qatari counterpart his most sincere thanks for Qatar’s commitment to peace in Afghanistan. Qatar hosted the talks between the US and the Taliban that culminated in the conclusion of an agreement last weekend. Intra-Afghan negotiations will now be the next step. Germany’s position is clear: there can only be peace if Afghans achieve reconciliation among themselves. Germany and Qatar have already worked together in the past and have promoted an intra-Afghan dialogue. Foreign Minister Maas emphasised that Germany continued to stand ready to support the peace process in Afghanistan.

Supporting the transition in the Sudan

Germany and Qatar are also cooperating closely with respect to the Sudan. Qatar is a member of the Friends of Sudan group initiated by Germany, which supports the country on its path towards stability and peace. Both Foreign Ministers believe that the Sudan is at a decisive turning point following its peaceful revolution. Effective coordination and international support are required for the transition towards democracy and stability.

Promoting labour rights in Qatar

A further topic addressed with respect to the FIFA World Cup in 2022 was the situation of foreign employees in Qatar. The country has made initial progress following comprehensive reforms. A key factor here is the de facto abolition in Qatar of what is known as the Kafala system, which greatly restricted the rights of foreign workers. This step has also been acknowledged by the International Labour Organization (ILO), which is advising the Qatari Government. Germany stands ready to continue to support Qatar in its reforms and their implementation.

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