At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Qatar Airways served a key role in Ottawa’s repatriation efforts and facilitated a critical air bridge for thousands of Canadians.
Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed the unfolding developments in Ukraine on Monday.
This came during a phone call between Sheikh Tamim and Trudeau where they addressed the urgent humanitarian crisis and the vital need for an immediate ceasefire in Kyiv.
The two agreed on the need to join efforts in mitigating the global economic effects as a result of the Russian invasion.
The prime minister then invited Qatar’s Amir to take part in the “Stand Up For Ukraine” campaign on 9th April, which Trudeau is convening along with the President of the European Commission. The initiative serves a fundraising role for Ukrainian refugees and internally displaced people.
The Canadian minister further thanked Amir Tamim for Qatar’s strong foothold in providing humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, and facilitating a safe journey for those that sought to evacuate Kabul.
The Governor General of Canada to Qatar had recently met with the country’s Amir on 21st March, where she expressed her appreciation for Doha’s effective contribution in the operations evacuating Canadian civilians from Afghanistan, as well as during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Qatar and Canada relations
The Gulf country and Canada have enjoyed uninterrupted diplomatic relations since 1974, with Qatar opening its embassy in Canada in 2011 whilst Canada opened its mission in the Gulf state in 2012.
In August 2021, the Canada-Qatar Defence Cooperation Arrangement was signed by Qatar’s Minister of State for Defence Affairs Khalid bin Muhammad Al-Attiyah and his Canadian counterpart. This bilateral agreement is seen as means to strengthen joint defence relations between the two countries.
“Our countries are in regular discussion about collaboration on additional initiatives and files of shared interest, with the goal of making our relations stronger each year,” Canada’s Ambassador to Qatar Stefanie McCollum told Doha News last year.
In 2020, Qatar was considered Canada’s third largest merchandise trade partner in the Persian Gulf as well as its 11th most crucial partner in Middle East and North Africa region.
The bilateral merchandise trade reached a total of about $196.2 million at the time.