The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, The Amir of the State of Qatar, met in London on 24 May, 2022. The Prime Minister welcomed the 50th Anniversary of the UK-Qatar bilateral relations and celebrated the rich and deep history between both countries.
The leaders affirmed their commitment to strengthening the historic Qatar-UK partnership at a strategic level, and to forge ever closer cooperation to tackle shared global challenges jointly. The leaders welcomed the launch of the annual Qatar-UK Strategic Dialogue, to be co-chaired by the UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar. The Strategic Dialogue will progress areas of further collaboration including regional security, trade and investment, humanitarian and development cooperation, energy, science and innovation, health, and education.
Both leaders announced the Qatar-UK Strategic Investment Partnership.
The leaders welcomed the launch of the UK-Qatar Energy Dialogue, which will deepen the already vital energy and climate change cooperation between their two countries.
The leaders shared their ambition to build on the strong links between the UK and Qatar in education partnerships and joint academic research, including the intention to agree a Memorandum of Understanding that aims to promote mutual understanding and exchange knowledge and experience.
The United Kingdom has announced that Qatar will be part of the new Electronic Travel Authorisation system starting 2023, making it easier for Qatari visitors to travel to the UK for business and tourism.
World Cup 2022
The leaders looked forward to Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first to be held in the Arab and Muslim world. The Prime Minister reaffirmed the UK’s strong support for Qatar’s efforts to deliver a safe and successful tournament, and the two sides committed to close ongoing engagement on tournament preparations.
As part of this, the Prime Minister confirmed the support of UK military capabilities to counter terrorism and malign activity during the tournament. This will include air security capabilities through the Joint Typhoon Squadron, in addition to maritime security capabilities, advanced venue search training, operational planning support, command and control support, and further specialist advice.
Both leaders emphasised the important role that sport has to play in the promotion of equality and respect for human rights. The leaders also discussed the legacy that the tournament can provide, and how it can support the objectives of Qatar’s National Vision 2030.
Trade and Investment
The United Kingdom and the State of Qatar share an important trade and investment relationship, with total trade of £4.8 billion in 2021. Qatari investment in the UK economy is estimated to be over £40bn and significantly supports jobs, innovation, levelling up and economic development in both countries. The leaders welcomed the progress made on confirming the viability of Rolls-Royce and Qatar Foundation’s strategic partnership to develop two world-class campuses dedicated to launching, investing in and growing climate technology businesses that can accelerate the global energy transition. The leaders also welcomed the progress made on defining the framework for that partnership and looked forward to those discussions being drawn to a successful conclusion and the benefits of the partnership being realised in both countries.
The leaders further discussed opportunities for investment in sectors including renewable energy, technology, education, health care, and life sciences. They reiterated their strong commitment to post-pandemic resilience and growth through green infrastructure and clean technology in Qatar, the UK and beyond.
Following the signing today of the Qatar-UK Strategic Investment Partnership between the United Kingdom’s Office for Investment and the Government of the State of Qatar, the State of Qatar is looking for opportunities to invest around £10bn in the United Kingdom over the next five years.
This demonstrates the intention of the State of Qatar to build on the agreement from United Kingdom Prime Minister the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, The Amir of the State of Qatar to grow the dynamic partnership between the two countries at a strategic level.
The State of Qatar intends to leverage the opportunities provided by the Qatar-UK Strategic Investment Partnership to explore the deployment of this capital to invest in sectors which are vital for shared prosperity.
The leaders welcomed the joint effort to increase investment flows between the two countries. The new Qatar-UK Strategic Investment Partnership, between the United Kingdom’s Office for Investment and the Government of the State of Qatar, represented by the Qatar Investment Authority, will establish a unique two-way relationship to promote investments and innovation in vital sectors for shared prosperity. The Partnership aims to deliver strategic value to Qatar and the UK, aligned with Qatar’s National Vision 2030 and the UK’s Plan for Growth.
The leaders looked forward to the start of the UK-GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) negotiations for an ambitious UK-GCC Free Trade Agreement, due to commence in 2022. The agreement will reduce trade barriers and facilitate economic cooperation for multiple sectors including life sciences, financial services, healthcare, green tech, and cyber.
Both leaders agreed to continue to seek opportunities to co-invest and support development in third countries to build stronger and more sustainable economic partnerships. Such opportunities would help to facilitate high-quality investment into infrastructure and other areas to support the green transition, working through the opportunities presented by the British Investment Partnership agenda alongside the Qatar Fund For Development (QFFD). Both parties agreed to focus on shared thematic and geographic priorities, such as climate change, building resilience to humanitarian crises, education, women’s empowerment, and development, particularly in Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa.
The leaders welcomed the launch of the UK – Qatar Energy Dialogue. The Dialogue was chaired by the UK Secretary of State of the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, and by His Excellency the Minister of State for Energy Affairs of the State of Qatar, and CEO and President of Qatar Energy, Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi. The leaders witnessed the signing of a new energy cooperation MOU between BEIS and Qatar Energy to enhance cooperation on energy security, renewable energy, and decarbonisation. The leaders discussed the need for sustained leadership and coordinated efforts to support global energy market stability and security.
Security, Defence and Counterterrorism:
The leaders reaffirmed the importance of the security, defence, and counterterrorism partnership and agreed to continue to deepen cooperation. The UK and Qatar reiterated their commitment to address threats and safeguard security in the region. The two leaders also highlighted their strong security partnership, including law enforcement cooperation, countering violent extremism, combating terrorism and illicit financial flows. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Global Counter Terrorism Forum, of which the UK and Qatar are founder members.
The leaders agreed on the importance the UK-Qatar defence relationship. There was a significant UK defence presence at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference in March 2022, and collaboration continues across all domains. Qatar remains the only partner with which the RAF operates joint squadrons – the Joint Hawk Training Squadron at RAF Leeming, and the Joint Typhoon Squadron at RAF Coningsby – which further strengthens cooperation between the UK and Qatar armed forces and enhances the two countries’ abilities to tackle shared security challenges. Both leaders praised the upcoming inclusion of the Joint Typhoon Squadron in Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, and the Joint Squadron’s deployment to Qatar in autumn 2022 to support the integration and entry into service of the first Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) Typhoon Wing. Both leaders recognised the value of further discussions on expanding future Typhoon cooperation.
Foreign Policy and Regional Issues
The UK and Qatar will continue their partnership to work on promoting global conflict resolution efforts, humanitarian, and development initiatives, and to address the security threats that the world faces from both state and non-state actors. The Prime Minister acknowledged the State of Qatar’s active role in peaceful conflict resolution in various regional crises and both leaders underlined their shared commitment to effective multilateralism. The leaders agreed to continue their close cooperation, including on foreign policy, security, development and humanitarian affairs, and reaffirmed their commitment to regional security and stability.
Russia and Ukraine: The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders, extending to its territorial waters. Both leaders expressed deep concern over the unfolding humanitarian crisis and reaffirmed their commitment to support Ukraine through the provision of humanitarian aid and called on Russia to provide humanitarian access to besieged regions of Ukraine. They agreed on the importance of energy security and discussed ways to continue working together to ensure the stability of energy markets.
Iran: The two leaders underlined the need for increased international coordination to achieve stability, security and prosperity in the Middle East, acknowledged the role of Qatari diplomacy in these effortsand expressed their support for regional dialogue initiatives, including with Iran. The leaders recognised the potential role of a restored and fully implemented JCPOA in supporting regional stability. Both parties noted that a diplomatic solution remains the best way to ensure Iran’s nuclear programme is exclusively used for peaceful purposes. They urged all parties to seize this opportunity to bring negotiations to a successful conclusion.
Afghanistan: The Prime Minister thanked and expressed deep appreciation to HH the Amir for the State of Qatar’s role in repatriatingUK citizens and UK-eligible Afghan nationals to the UK, for joining the UK in co-hosting the UN humanitarian pledging conference and for hosting the British diplomatic mission to Afghanistan in Qatar. The Prime Minister welcomed the State of Qatar’s role in supporting negotiations on Afghanistan during the last few years.
The two leaders expressed concern about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, and reaffirmed their resolve in holding the Taliban to account on the commitments they have made on counter-terrorism, an amnesty against former government figures and security forces and human rights. Both leaders reaffirmed the promotion of the rights of women and girls, and called on the Taliban to ensure women have equal opportunities in education and the workplace, and access to services.
The two leaders stressed the importance of continuing to engage the international community to address the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, and highlighted the responsibility of the international community in participating in the humanitarian efforts towards the Afghan people, including the right to access food and medicine as an integral part of human rights.
East Africa: The UK and Qatar are concerned by the dire humanitarian situation across East Africa, particularly in Somalia and Ethiopia. Tens of millions of people are affected by conflict and drought with crises displacing millions of people from their homes. Both leaders agreed to strengthen collaboration to help address East Africa’s pressing humanitarian needs.
MEPP: Both leaders outlined support for direct dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis, and underlined their commitment to a peaceful two-state solution as the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace. The leaders emphasised the need to address the underlying causes of the conflict. The two leaders also emphasised the need to adhere to the well-established principles of international law, along with the respect for Security Council resolutions and international treaties. The two leaders stressed the importance of the need to respect the Historic Status Quo at the Holy Sites in Jerusalem and urged all side to refrain from any kind of provocation. The two leaders condemned the killing of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin on 11 May 2022 and reiterated the call by the UN Security Council on 13 May 2022 for an immediate, thorough, transparent, fair and impartial investigation.
Both leaders agreed on the importance and value of promoting and protecting media freedom and highlighted their commitment to ensuring journalists worldwide can practice their profession safely and openly. The leaders agreed to continue to cooperate in fighting disinformation alongside other nations and international organisations around the world.
In forging their dynamic partnership, the UK and Qatar remain committed to ever-deepening dialogue and long-term cooperation. His Highness Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani congratulated the Prime Minister and the citizens of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth nations in their celebration of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.