Emir of Qatar to visit Seychelles later this year, President Ramkalawan says
The Emir of Qatar, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, will be undertaking an official visit to Seychelles during the second part of the year.
President Wavel Ramkalawan of Seychelles announced the planned visit upon his return Tuesday to the island nation from a three-day official visit to Qatar.
Support for the budget, sharing of experiences to address the COVID-19 pandemic, exchanges in culture and sports as well as discussions on support in maritime security, military and trade are some highlights of the president’s three-day mission.
“During the tete-a-tete we discussed budget support for Seychelles, the construction of an isolation centre at Victoria hospital and the construction centre of a health centre at Anse Royale, one which has been talked about for some time,” Ramkalawan told journalists at his landing at Seychelles’ International Airport.
The discussions for budget support were done by the Seychelles’ Minister for Finance – Naadir Hassan – and his counterpart from Qatar, though nothing concrete has been agreed yet. Ramkalawan said he expects feedback later this week.
The selected locations primarily represented areas of interest through which Seychelles could obtain new knowledge. (State House) Photo License: CC-BY
The president said that “on their side, Qatar had asked that they are granted the fifth freedom,” which would allow the airline to use Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean – as a hub and to connect Qatar to countries on the African continent.
Ramkalawan and his delegation also visited key sites in Doha. The selected locations primarily represented areas of interest through which Seychelles could obtain new knowledge and adopt best practices applicable to the local setting.
The delegation visited the Hamad International Airport to observe the new travel measures being implemented given the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of airport staff, passengers and the country. Ramkalawan said that as the island nation will re-open as of March 25, such insight on new safety measures and new procedures are crucial for the country.
Following the tour and discussion, the Qatari government has confirmed its willingness to support Seychelles in this domain to further upgrade safety measures at the Seychelles International Airport.
The Presidential delegation also visited the Qatar National Museum where modern applications being used to preserve and display historical information. President Ramkalawan also visited the Msherieb Downtown Doha traditional museum depicting the creation of the Qatari nation through bondage and slavery.
The delegation also had the opportunity to visit the Al Bayt Stadium, the host venue for the opening match of the FIFA World Cup 2022. In line with the newly signed Memorandum of Understanding in Sport, the visit to the stadium post-FIFA World Cup as a potential for exchanges and training possibilities between Seychelles and Qatar can be explored.