Qatar urged to invest in Guyana’s oil sector


President David Granger Wednesday urged Qatar, a powerful world leader in oil and gas, to invest in Guyana’s petroleum sector.

The President issued the invitation when he welcomed Mohammed Ahmad Al Hayki as Qatar’s non-resident Ambassador to Guyana.

“Guyana invites Qatar to examine ways of investing in the development of our emerging petroleum sector,” President Granger told the Ambassador.

The new Ambassador said that Qatar was interested in developing and strengthening ties with Guyana in all possible fields.

“Qatar’s energy sector is vast, complex and well-developed, encompassing a diverse array of state-owned energy companies, along with strong private sector participation in nearly all major energy projects,” states the Oxford Business Group.

The accreditation of Mohammed Ahmad Al Hayki as Qatar’s Ambassador to Guyana comes at a time of a worsening eight-month long conflict between Qatar and its neighbours in the Gulf Cooperation Council.

In June last year, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Egypt discontinued diplomatic and trade relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting “extremism and terrorism” in the Middle East and fostering ties with their rival Iran.

Doha has strongly denied the claims. In the Ambassador’s speech today, there was no mention of the crisis with the Gulf countries.

What Ambassador Al Hayki did was to extoll Qatar’s plans for the future.

“Qatar is a small, wealthy country, using its financial resources investing in education, health, social welfare development and above all investing in Qatari human resources to…prepare our people for the challenges ahead of us…,” he stated.

President Granger pointed to what he said was Qatar’s rising influence in world affairs and said Guyana and Qatar enjoyed cordial relations founded on mutual respect for international treaties.

He said the accreditation of a new Ambassador affords enhanced possibilities for cooperation in the areas of education, health, security and sports.

At the height of the crisis with its Gulf neighbours in mid-August 2017, Qatar opened its door wide to the international community, announcing Guyana as one of 80 countries to which citizens can travel without needing a visa.

Guyanese can enter Qatar and received a 30-day visa, with the possibility of an extension.

Guyana and Qatar established diplomatic relations on August 23, 1996.  Four years later, then Minister of Foreign Affairs Clement Rohee headed Guyana’s delegation to the summit of the Organisation of Islamic Countries, the OIC in the Qatari capital Doha.

In 2009, then Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn-Rodrigues Birkette lead Guyana’s delegation to the 2nd Arab-South American Summit and noted that Guyana was looking to foster closer ties with the region and to pursue “economic diplomacy” with Arab nations.

Qatar and the other Arab states have also expressed staunch support for Guyana´s territorial integrity at Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) forums. These interactions were built on past efforts by Guyana to cement economic and cultural ties with Doha.

Odeen Ishmael was the last Guyanese to be appointed non-resident Ambassador to Qatar. He retired in 2004.

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