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January 2021 edition

SA, Qatar strengthen relations

Written by BuaNews

International relations

Infrastructure development between South Africa and Qatar is set to intensify in the future. This emerged after a meeting between President Jacob Zuma and Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani in Doha.

President Jacob Zuma and Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani in Doha.President Zuma stopped over in Qatar while en-route to the World Economic Forum, which took place in Davos, Switzerland. The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including concrete projects that the two countries can engage in as part of implementing South Africa's New Growth Path.

Ministerial delegation

The two countries also undertook to intensify cooperation in other economic sectors. It was agreed that a ministerial delegation from South Africa would visit Qatar to follow up on issues raised and to ensure that no time would be wasted in implementing the decisions of the two heads of state.

The South African government is seeking cooperation with Qatar in areas such as water, energy, construction, agriculture and general infrastructure development. The two countries already maintain a strong bilateral relationship and have strong cooperation in petrochemicals.

One of South Africa's largest investments in the Middle East, Sasol's joint venture gas-to-liquid facility, is located in Qatar. Qatar is currently the seventh largest supplier of crude oil to South Africa, but bilateral trade and investment have not reached their full potential.

Libya

The two leaders also discussed the situation in Libya at length. They agreed that the African Union and the Arab League should work together to assist the National Transitional Council and the people of Libya to normalise the situation in their country.