PUTRAJAYA: Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah will host Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Foreign Affairs Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani (pix), in conjunction with his two-day official visit to Malaysia starting Thursday (11 Aug).

The Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) in a statement said this visit serves as a follow-up to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s official visit to Qatar in March 2022, as well as a lead-up preparation for the state visit of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to Malaysia in 2023.

Saifuddin and Sheikh Mohammed will hold a bilateral meeting to chart a way forward on many issues of mutual interest since the establishment of relations between Malaysia and Qatar.

“High on the agenda is the enhancement of the already strong multi-faceted collaboration, especially on trade and investment, cooperation in combating pandemic as well as exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual concern,“ the statement read.

During the visit, Wisma Putra said Sheikh Mohammed is scheduled to have an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and will pay a courtesy call on the Prime Minister.

He would also hold a separate meeting with the Senior Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

Qatar is Malaysia’s sixth largest trading partner, export destination and source of imports among West Asian countries. Malaysia-Qatar trade volume in 2021 was worth RM2.63 billion (US$634.2 million), said Wisma Putra. - Bernama