Guyana-Qatar ties set to take off

QATAR — Ties between Guyana, Qatar and other Gulf states are poised to reach new heights with the appointment of Dr Odeen Ishmael as non-resident ambassador to Qatar, the world’s richest country in terms of GDP per capita.

Dr Odeen Ishmael

Qatar’s deputy emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, during a red-carpet reception at the Emiri Diwan, accepted the Ishmael’s credentials, Guyana’s first ambassador to Qatar, on Monday.

Ishmael is currently Guyana’s resident ambassador to Kuwait and will soon be appointment ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia.

Qatar and Guyana are both members of the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Qatar’s growing global economic and political power has reached Latin America, with the opening of embassies in their respective capitals. Besides Brazil and Argentina, the Emir of Qatar recently visited Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and signed various bilateral agreements to expand trade between the two regions. Qatar Airways now links the two regions with flights to Argentina and Brazil.

When asked how he intends to expand Guyana-Qatari ties, Ishmael said, “I will disseminate information on Guyana to educational institutions in Qatar, meet with both the private and public sectors to encourage trade and investment with Guyana, and promote the mandates of the South America-Arab summits in Qatar and the Gulf region, in particular as they affect Guyana/Qatar relations.”

On Sunday, Ishmael met with the assistant foreign minister for services affairs, Rashid bin Khalifa Al Khalifa and discussed various aspects of Guyana/Qatar relations. The foreign minister of Qatar is currently in the United States with the Emir of Qatar.

“The minister expressed thanks to Guyana for its support on issues Qatar champions at the UN. These include matters of sustainable development and climate change and the role of Qatar in promoting democracy in the Arab region. The minister also expressed interest in Guyana oil exploration,” Ishmael said.

Upon taking office in early 2012, Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar sent a written message to the Emir of Qatar relating to bilateral relations between the two countries and means of enhancing them, which was delivered by Guyana’s Middle East envoy George Hallaq.

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