*End the Gulf crisis through talks: Faurie
The Gulf crisis that followed the siege of Qatar has in fact made the country stronger economically and politically, Argentinean Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie has said.
According to him, the crisis pushed Qatar forward to expand its strategic relations with many countries in the world, strengthen its international standing and its participation in all international forums and implement ambitious plans to increase self-sufficiency and achieve economic independence.
The minister, addressing a press conference, also stressed the importance of putting an end to the current Gulf crisis and the need for the parties to sit at the dialogue table, pointing out that his country has good relations with all countries in the region.
In an interview with local Arabic daily Arrayah, the Argentine minister described his country's relations with Qatar as "excellent" and that there is increasing dialogue and co-operation between the two countries, reflected in the flow of high-level mutual visits, pointing out that there are many areas where bilateral relations can be deepened mainly through receiving Qatari investments and increasing exports to the Qatari market.
The minister expressed hope that new agreements will be reached during his current visit to Qatar, which will benefit Argentine companies and Qatar Investment Authority, noting that the details of two important agreements are being finalised in the field of youth and national libraries between the two countries, and that 14 agreements and memorandums of understanding are in their final stages.
He said that the Argentine delegation accompanying him includes officials from public and private sectors who will discuss promising opportunities for co-operation and investment in the sectors of oil and gas, agro-industries, real estate, infrastructure and tourism.
Regarding Qataris' investment in Argentina, the minister said there are great opportunities for foreign investments in Argentina, especially in areas such as infrastructure, mining, telecommunications, renewable energy, oil and gas and tourism, adding that this is the perfect time for Qatari companies to take advantage of these opportunities and invest in his country which is a global leader and well known for its food market and is able to contribute to Qatar's food security. Qatar is a big importer of food, making it a very attractive market for Argentina, he added.
The minister expressed his country's desire to strengthen bilateral relations with Qatar by increasing exports of agro-industries and diversifying them into other strategic sectors such as software, knowledge-based services, technology and nuclear research reactors for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy in health, among others.
On co-operation with the Hamad Port, the Argentinean Foreign Minister said his country is open to exchange experiences with Qatar. On issues related to transport, which is the main sector in the development of the economies of the two countries, the experience of Hamad Port will certainly be useful to strengthen bilateral ties in this area, he pointed out.
On Qatar's hosting of the 2022 World Cup as the first Arab country to host such an event, Faurie said he really believes that sport makes strong links between countries, and "we are a football-loving country and highly appreciate the social role sport plays in our societies."
On the sidelines of the recently concluded G20 summit, Argentina hosted FIFA President Gianni Infantino to present a programme for social development worldwide. In this regard, Argentina is ready to establish ties with Qatar, he added.