Armen Sarkissian with Qatari Prime Minister, Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani

President Sarkissian Visits Qatar

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DOHA, QATAR — President Armen Sarkissian and his wife, Nouneh Sarkissian, arrived on a state visit to Qatar on November 17.

At the Hamad International Airport of Doha, the state flags of the Republic of Armenia and the State of Qatar were raised and the honor guard was lined up.

President of Armenia was welcomed by the Minister of Transport and Communication of Qatar Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti and other officials.

Armen Sarkissian met with Qatari Prime Minister, Interior Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.

The Qatari premier welcomed the Armenian President’s official visit, attaching importance to the inter-state relations with Armenia.

Sarkissian thanked the government of Qatar for assisting the opening of the Armenian Embassy, stating that it will raise the bilateral ties to a new quality and expressed hope that Qatar will also open an embassy in Yerevan in the near future.

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During their visit, Sarkissian met with the Chairperson of the Foundation of Qatar, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al Missned, Sarkissian noted that the Sheikha has a vision for her country and for the human development in general. “The attitude of the Qataris toward the world culture and science is unique and precious. The Foundation of Qatar is not only a huge structure but also huge investments. Branches of the best universities of the world are established here, voluminous research is being carried out related not only to the Arabic, Arab culture and religion but in a number of other areas, ranging from nuclear physics to modern biology. Here great opportunities for learning exist.”

The President noted that Armenia and Qatar would establish a working group. The agreement on this was reached during the meeting with Sheikha Moza. The group will study the possible areas of cooperation, including student exchange programs and joint scientific research in the areas of modern physics, history and culture. “The realm of the activities of the Foundation of Qatar is wide and the majority of those who study here, 60-70 percent, are foreigners. It means the cooperation with Armenia is very important because our vision is to make Armenia an international center of science, education, and culture. They are doing the same here, thus our cooperation is a logical thing to do,” the President of Armenia said.
In the framework of his official visit to the State of Qatar, President Armen Sarkissian visited the Embassy of Armenia in Doha. The Armenian embassy in the State of Qatar was opened this year through the active support of Emir and the government of Qatar.

Sarkissian was welcomed by the Ambassador of Armenia to Qatar Gegham Gharibjanian, spiritual leader of the Armenian Diocese of Qatar, Very Rev. Poghos Tinkjian, representatives of the Armenian community, and students of the Armenian Mesropian school.

The President and Nouneh Sarkissian at the Armenian Embassy

Greeting the audience, Sarkissian assessed the day as a historic one for all. “Qatar is a friendly state, friendly nation. We all waited for the opening of this embassy for many years. During my numerous visits, when I met with many of you, the question was asked when Armenia would finally open an embassy in Qatar,” the President recalled. “Today, it is a reality and believe that especially for you, the Armenian community of Qatar, the life will change considerably because you will be closer through a direct link to the Fatherland. Fatherland’s presence will be not only in your hearts but in your daily life. I trust Armenia and Qatar have plenty to do in the politics, in the economy, in business relations and in cultural life. The Embassy should become the bridge which will connect you to the Fatherland but also make Armenia-Qatar relations closer. I mean that I expect each of you to be actively involved participants in the development of Armenia-Qatar relations.”

The president congratulated all present on the opening of the Embassy and expressed special thanks to Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the friendly people of Qatar for the assistance in establishing embassy. “Opening of the embassy would not be possible without good will and enormous, including financial assistance of Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. I convey my words of gratitude to the people of Qatar, its government, and Emir,” the President underscored. “It is a special gesture of friendship and each of us should appreciate it and do everything so that this friendship, brotherly relations between the two nations strengthen and expand. Thus, welcome to the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, welcome home.”

Sarkissian was also hosted at the National Library of Qatar which is one of the Foundation of Qatar’s structures.

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He and his wife toured the library, got familiarized with the materials kept there, publications as well as the exhibits of the Heritage Museum including unique books, manuscripts, maps, other valuable samples of the Arab and Islamic culture.

The National Library of Qatar serves as a university and public library for research and is equipped with modern digital devices. According to the 2018 data, its depository contains close to 800,000 books; in addition, the library has 500,000 electronic books and periodicals.

At the conclusion of the visit, responding to the questions of the journalists, President Sarkissian said that the library is an exceptional institution, “We agreed with the director of the library that we would connect them with Matenadaran [the manuscript repository in Armenia]. When I am back, I will arrange for many books to be sent here because, along with everything else, they translate some of the books into Arabic and not for commercial purposes but as a necessary tool for science and reading,” the President noted. “Collaboration of this library with the National Library of Armenia and Matenadaran will be of great worth because huge amounts of money are being spent here to digitalize the books, make them accessible and, in general, to develop the library culture. I believe this is one of the best libraries I have ever seen.”