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Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani recently embarked on official visits to Cyprus and Greece, engaging in high-level discussions with senior officials from both nations, with the aim to strengthen and expand their cooperation. Roudi Baroudi, an international energy expert and CEO of the Doha-based consultancy Energy and Environment Holding, offers his insights into the significance and outcomes of these visits.

The visits were highly successful, marked by constructive talks that reinforced Qatar’s traditional diplomatic strategy of maintaining stable and friendly relations with as many countries as possible. Unlike many governments that “pick sides” in international disputes, Qatar strives to maintain good relations with all parties. This approach has facilitated Qatar’s role as a mediator in numerous conflicts, most recently between Israel and Hamas. Similarly, Qatar seeks the warmest possible relations with Greece and Cyprus, while maintaing its close ties with Türkiye.

Both Greece and Cyprus have expressed interest in playing central roles in transporting energy to the European mainland, a crucial component of their economic development plans. Qatar, with its leading liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry and global energy investments, is an ideal partner. HH the emir’s visits reaffirm Qatar’s commitment to these relationships and signal readiness for deeper cooperation in energy and other sectors.

Greece, under Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has made significant strides in stabilizing its economy and restoring its standing within the European Union. The current government’s focus on sectors like digital connectivity, cleantech, shipping, logistics and hospitality presents attractive investment opportunities for Qatari investors. The country’s improved governance and leadership have made it a promising partner for future ventures.

Cyprus is strategically positioned to become a major energy hub for the Eastern Mediterranean’s offshore gas industry. The island nation offers promising opportunities in ports, banking, technology and tourism. President Nikos Christodoulides, with his diplomatic background, has already demonstrated strong leadership in economic development. QatarEnergy’s existing involvement in Cyprus’ gas exploration underscores the potential for further investment and cooperation. The robust reliability of Qatari partners was notably demonstrated during the 2017-2021 blockade, where Qatar maintained its LNG supply commitments, stabilizing global markets during a critical period.

The emir’s visits to Greece and Cyprus highlight Qatar’s commitment to fostering strong, mutually beneficial relationships. By leveraging its energy expertise and investment capabilities, Qatar is poised to play a pivotal role in the economic growth and stability of both nations. The international community continues to recognize and appreciate the wise policies and diplomatic efforts of Qatar’s leaders, further solidifying the country’s standing on the global stage.