MADRID, 17 May. (EUROPA PRESS) -
Qatar's emir Tamim bin Hamad al Thani stressed on Tuesday that his country and Spain "have a lot in common" and expressed his conviction that his state visit will strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
This has been pronounced in a brief joint session of the Spanish Courts held in the Senate and during which the president of the Lower House, Ander Gil, and that of the Upper House, Meritxell Batet, have awarded him the medals of honor of both cameras.
The Qatari sovereign thanked this gesture and the welcome received and stressed that Qatar and Spain have "historic relations" that this year celebrate their 50th anniversary.
"This visit comes to strengthen these relations in all areas, both at the institutional, governmental, parliamentary but also popular level," he maintained during the ceremony held in the former Senate Sessions Hall.
"We yearn for friendly relations between Qatar and Spain, two countries that have a lot in common, especially many values in common", he added, in which a priori they will be his only public words during his stay, in which he plans to meet with King Felipe VI and also with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez.
For his part, Ander Gil stressed that in the past half century "bilateral relations and cooperation have not ceased to strengthen", first after the arrival of democracy in Spain and then with the opening of two embassies between 2003 and 2004.
"Both of us have grown and improved in these decades", defended the president of the Senate, who also pointed out that the two countries have "experienced significant modernization processes" and now both are immersed in new plans in this regard, in the case of the Gulf country with the Qatar 2030 initiative and in the case of Spain with the 2030 Plan.
The two countries "think of a future of well-being, sustainability and happiness for our citizens", Gil asserted, but for this "we have to deepen the economic and social transformations that we have already promoted and think in terms of modernization, commercial cooperation and culture and diversification of our markets".
"We trust in a greater strengthening of relations," he concluded, trusting that in those aspects in which the two countries cooperate, they will do so "from trust and mutual respect."
The emir of Qatar has started his first state visit to Spain since his arrival to the throne very close to the seat of Parliament. Thus, as established by protocol, he has been received with all honors in the Plaza de Armas of the Royal Palace by Kings Felipe VI and Letizia.
Sheikh Tamim, who has traveled accompanied by his wife Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim al Thani, has received military honors with the interpretation of the national anthems of the two countries and the traditional 21-gun salute.
The King and the emir then reviewed the battalion of honors of the Royal Guard, after which they greeted both official delegations. On the Spanish side were Sánchez, Gil and Batet, as well as the president of the Constitutional Court, Carlos Lesmes, the foreign minister, José Manuel Albares, and the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez Almeida.
Precisely, the latter has handed over the keys to the city of Madrid to the Qatari sovereign in a subsequent ceremony. The emir plans a meeting at the Palacio de la Zarzuela with Don Felipe, after which the King and Queen will offer the Qatari monarch and his wife a private lunch. The traditional dinner of honor is scheduled for tonight at the Royal Palace.