The Inaugural Strategic Dialogue between the State of Qatar and the United Kingdom

United Kingdom – Media & Communication Dept. - 21 February 2023

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, and the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, the Rt Hon James Cleverly MP, launched the first annual Qatar-UK Strategic Dialogue in London on 20 February 2023, in celebration of the robust and expanding bilateral relationship.

The Ministers reviewed areas of collaboration between the two countries. They affirmed that the Qatar-UK relationship has maintained a positive trajectory and committed to further strengthening the Qatar-UK partnership. They agreed to continue progress on areas of ongoing and regular collaboration through official level engagements, including on defence and security, energy, regional security, trade and investment, humanitarian and development assistance, the human rights agenda, science and innovation, health and education. To underline this, Qatar and the United Kingdom signed an MoU to launch the Strategic Dialogue, a new platform to deepen cooperation. Both Ministers agreed to review progress through the Strategic Dialogue at least once a year.

The Ministers discussed the State of Qatar’s recent successful hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the first to be held in the Arab world. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Al-Thani thanked the UK for its security partnership in preparation for and during the tournament. The United Kingdom is committed to building on this cooperation and supporting the State of Qatar as it seeks to sustain a positive tournament legacy, encompassing the areas of sports economy, tourism, and labour reforms.

Qatar and the United Kingdom share a vital and flourishing trade and investment partnership, with a total trade volume of over £12.1 billion in the past year, contributing to supporting jobs, innovation and economic development in both countries. Qatari investment in the UK was further boosted through the signing of the Qatar-UK Strategic Investment Partnership during the visit to London of HH the Amir in May 2022. Both sides welcomed the progress made under the Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO), including closer partnership between the UK’s Department for Business and Trade and Qatar’s Investment Promotion Agency. The Ministers welcomed the continuing positive dialogue between Rolls-Royce and the Qatar Foundation on their proposed strategic technology partnership. They noted their respective governments’ support for this climate technology venture and the potential impact this partnership will have in both countries as well as more widely across the world.

Both Ministers discussed opportunities for shared prosperity through investment in sectors aligned with mutual priorities, including clean technologies, life sciences, biotech, agri-tech and EVs/battery technology, which will be advanced under the established Qatar-UK Strategic Investment Partnership. Both sides also discussed cooperation in the creative economy field and look forward to the signing of an MoU in the near future.

The leaders welcomed the ongoing collaboration on energy security and renewable energy under the inaugural Qatar- UK Energy Dialogue that was held in May 2022.  

Both sides reaffirmed the importance of the security and defence partnership and discussed ongoing activities that are vital to addressing both regional and global threats. The Ministers also recognized the positive potential of further discussion on future Typhoon partnership and cooperation on counterterrorism. In their discussions, the two sides underlined the commitment of the State of Qatar and the United Kingdom to continue cooperation in tackling shared global challenges together.

The two Ministers reiterated their respective countries’ commitment to the sovereignty of Ukraine. In addressing Iran, they emphasised dialogue and diplomacy as the only route to regional security and stability. On humanitarian crises, political transition, and natural disaster responses in Afghanistan, Turkiye, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and the Horn of Africa, both sides outlined their ongoing commitments to distressed and vulnerable populations, including refugees, IDPs, women and girls.

Assessing developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two Ministers reaffirmed their support for a Two-State Solution, based on 1967 lines and with Jerusalem as the shared capital, as the only way to ensure a just and lasting peace. Qatar and the UK strongly support the historic Status Quo governing holy sites in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including Jerusalem.

Qatar and the UK will continue their partnership in promoting global conflict resolution efforts. The UK welcomed Qatar’s commendable mediation in Chad, Rwanda, DR Congo, and Afghanistan, as well as in Iran and with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Qatar recognised the role of the UK, notably in conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the Horn of Africa and Libya, and for upholding the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.

The United Kingdom remains committed to introducing the new Electronic Travel Authorisation visa system starting in 2023, of which Qatar will be an early participant, facilitating business and tourism travel for Qatari visitors to the UK.

The State of Qatar and the United Kingdom look forward to concluding the Strategic Dialogue Sessions and reviewing their progress at the next Strategic Dialogue, planned for Doha in 2024.