Prague, like many of its European counterparts, is looking for secure its gas supply.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has announced that for the first time, Doha will be opening its own embassy in the Czech Republic, during comments made in Prague.
The amir is scheduled to meet with Milo Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic, shortly before the summit of the European Political Community, and amid rising demand for energy diversification.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ensuing energy crisis, there has been an increase in interest in diplomatic relations with Qatar across Europe.
The country is the world’s top exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), a commodity that allows Europe to lessen its reliance on Russian gas. Qatar also boasts the third-largest oil and gas reserves in the world.
“In the context of the EU Summit at Prague Castle, His Majesty’s (Al Thani) visit is an opportunity to meet with political representatives of EU countries, including the Czech Republic, in order to find common solutions to current major crises” Czech President’s spokesperson Jiri Ovcacek stated.
According to Hospodaske Noviny, the amir has been interested in visiting the Czech Republic for some time.
He will have the chance to meet leaders on the sidelines, but he will be unable to attend the summit itself, which brings together 44 European countries because Qatar is not regarded as an EU member.
The Middle Eastern gas supplies are what the European nations want, but Qatar is more interested in investing in Europe and potential visa-free access to EU nations.
An agreement between the governments of Qatar and the Czech Republic was approved last week by the Czech government.
The agreement should be inked during the amir’s visit, according to Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Skela.