The Royal House, as the highest institution of the State, is focused on the visit that the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, and his wife, Sheikha Jawaler, are making to Spain. As a sign that it is not just any visit, King Felipe VI had the courtesy to travel to the El Pardo palace on Monday afternoon to welcome his Qatari counterpart, with whom he had also met on Sunday in Abu Dabi. Part of the delegation that has come to Spain is staying in El Pardo and Don Felipe wanted to have that distinction, something exceptional, with the emir.
This Tuesday, everything was ready first thing in the morning for the state reception of the sheikh and his wife. The Royal Guard was deployed on the esplanade of the Royal Palace, from whose balconies hung the scripts of the House. At 11 in the morning, the sheikh and his wife appeared in a Rolls Royce and were received by the Kings, with whom they exchanged gestures of affection. After listening to the national anthems of the two countries and reviewing the troops, the Emir and the King greeted the authorities.
From Spain were the President of the Government, the President of Congress and the Senate, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Spanish Ambassador to Qatar, as well as the Mayor of Madrid, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and the Chief of Staff of the defense.
A deployment of authorities similar to that of Qatar, which has brought to Madrid the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the head of the Diwan Amiri, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, as well as the Minister of Commerce and Industry. Also the president of the Chamber of Commerce of Qatar, the chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, director of the Department of Studies and Research at Diwan Amiri, the Executive Director of QIA, the ambassador of the State of Qatar in Spain, the director of the Department of European Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs in the Office of the head of the Diwan Amiri.
That three ministers come with the sheikh, in addition to the head of the Qatari investment fund -the QIA-, shows the importance of the trip. However, 12 agreements will be signed with gas as the main focus of the talks. Qatar is currently the second gas supplier to Spain along with Nigeria and behind Algeria. In 2019 we imported 11.4% of Qatari gas.
That’s why everyone wants to entertain the sheikh. After the honors at the Royal Palace, Bin Hamad went to the City Hall to receive the keys to Madrid and from there to the Senate. With such a busy schedule, it is not surprising that his next commitment to the Kings was delayed by almost half an hour. Before enjoying lunch in Zarzuela, the emir and his deputy prime minister held a meeting with Don Felipe and the Spanish Foreign Minister and the ambassadors of both countries.
The emir, who has always been very smiling and at ease with both the King and Queen Letizia, with whom he has shared a long conversation, has commented that he found the Zarzuela garden “very beautiful”.
After lunch in Zarzuela, the emir and his entourage have moved to the racecourse to see a race and a horse exhibition. Because the Madrid racecourse wants to sign an agreement with the country, which has an important equestrian tradition.
Almost without time to rest, tonight there will be a gala dinner at the Royal Palace. At that time, the emir will be given the collar of the order of Isabella the Catholic, the highest distinction for a foreign head of state.
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