Qatar Emir to meet President and PM on first state visit here

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will receive a ceremonial welcome in the morning at the Istana before meeting President Halimah Yacob and PM Lee Hsien Loong.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani will receive a ceremonial welcome in the morning at the Istana before meeting President Halimah Yacob and PM Lee Hsien Loong.PHOTO: AFP

Pacts to boost cooperation in legal, business, education sectors today

Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, arrived here yesterday on a two-day state visit that marks two historic firsts.

It is the first state visit to Singapore by the Emir, who assumed the position in 2013. It is also the first visit by a foreign head of state that President Halimah Yacob is hosting, since her election last month.

Today, Sheikh Tamim will receive a ceremonial welcome in the morning at the Istana, after which he will call on President Halimah, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement yesterday.

He will then meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and the two leaders will witness the signing of several memorandums of understanding and agreements to boost cooperation in the legal, business, education and training sectors, among others.

Mr Lee will host the Emir to lunch.

In the evening, Madam Halimah will hold a state banquet in the Emir's honour.

Sheikh Tamim is accompanied on the visit by his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani; Chief of Royal Court, Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz al-Thani; Minister of Economy and Trade, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani; Minister of Culture and Sports Salah bin Ghanem al-Ali, and other senior Qatari officials.

Also accompanying him is a 52-member business delegation, which includes representatives from the Qatar Development Bank, Qatar Airways, Qatari Diar, and Hassad Food Company.

In the afternoon, the Qatari business delegation will meet their Singapore counterparts at the Qatar-Singapore Economic Forum, held at the Shangri-La Hotel.

Co-organised by the Singapore Business Federation and the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the forum aims to promote stronger economic links between the two countries.

Qatar is Singapore's third-largest trading partner in the Middle East, after the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Sheikh Tamim is in town as part of a tour of the region. He arrived in Singapore after a visit to Malaysia, and will begin a visit to Indonesia tomorrow.

This is the third state visit to Singapore by an Emir of Qatar, after visits in 2005 and 2009.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2017, with the headline 'Qatar Emir to meet President and PM on first state visit here'. Print Edition | Subscribe