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Mexico to open embassy in Qatar

Qatar home to 250 Mexicans, but their numbers are growing on a weekly basis

Gulf News

Manama: Mexico plans to open an embassy in Qatar to give a boost to the growing ties between the two countries, a Mexican diplomat has said.

"We hope that we will be in a position to open an embassy in Doha before the end of the year in order to cater to the growing number of Mexicans coming to Qatar and to strengthen bilateral ties," Jorge Alvarez, Mexico's ambassador to Lebanon, said.

The diplomat told Qatar Tribune daily that although Qatar is now home to only about 250 Mexicans, their number would be growing on a weekly basis with more companies hiring Mexican engineers, pilots, experts and consultants.

Alvarez, who was in Doha for a special function, said that Qatar and Mexico were in talks to sign a number of agreements on trade, investments, energy, banking, aviation and culture.

They include a memorandum of understanding to be signed between the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (QCCI) and the Business Council of Mexico, and an agreement preventing double taxation.

The Mexican diplomat also announced that the Emir His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani was slated to visit Mexico within the year.

"The visit of HH the Emir to Mexico was scheduled for February this year but was postponed due to the circumstances in the region," he said.

Economic ties

"We are hoping that the visit comes through this year. The signing of the agreements will take place during the visit. Besides economic and trade agreements, Qatar and Mexico are also due to sign agreements in the field of culture as well as education, as we want more Mexican students to come to Qatar," he said, quoted by the daily on Wednesday.

The two countries will also finalise agreements between the central banks of the two countries. "In the field of energy, Qatar Petroleum will sign an agreement with an oil company in Mexico, and with regard to investments, the focus is on infrastructure, as Qatar has extensive experience in ports and airport projects," Alvarez said.

"The number of Qataris visiting Mexico is still very small, and in order to boost the figure, an aviation agreement is also on the cards. Most Qataris visiting to Mexico go through the US. We hope that we can have an agreement between Qatar Airways and Mexican airlines."

Diplomatic relations between Qatar and Mexico were established in the 1970s. Mexico has embassies and offices in Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Algeria and Morocco in the Middle East.