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Qatar defence minister meets South African president

Minister of State for Defence of Qatar, Khalid Bin Mohammad Al Attiyah (L) presents a decorative saber to Jacob Zuma (R), President of South Africa during their meeting in Pretoria, South Africa on 1 November 2017. [Qatari Defence Ministry]
Minister of State for Defence of Qatar, Khalid Bin Mohammad Al Attiyah (L) presents a decorative saber to Jacob Zuma (R), President of South Africa during their meeting in Pretoria, South Africa on 1 November 2017. [Qatari Defence Ministry]

Qatari Defence Minister Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah yesterday met with South African President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria, South Africa.

The defence ministry said in a statement that the two officials discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in the defence and military fields as well as “the possibility that the Qatari armed forces invest in the Denel group for military manufacture”.

The meeting also dealt with opening new horizons for military cooperation, and “the possibility of exchanging expertise and military training courses to serve the common interests of both countries”.

Al-Attiyah and Zuma also discussed Qatari and South African efforts to combat terrorism and extremism, in addition to the current situation in the Gulf region and its impact.

Read: IMF warns Qatar crisis could weaken GCC economic growth

In July, the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani met with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to discuss developments in the Gulf crisis.

Qatar is South Africa’s seventh largest trade partner in the Middle East. Trade between the two countries amounts to approximately $500 million while joint investments amount to $13.5 billion.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and trade ties with Qatar in early June, accusing it of supporting terrorism, which Doha denies.

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