The Czech Republic has opened its embassy in Qatar, as the two nations develop growing ties especially amid the looming energy crisis in Europe.
Czech Foreign Minister, Jan Lipavsky, today concluded his two-day working visit to Qatar, in which he first took part in the ceremonial opening of the first Czech embassy in the capital, Doha.
Lipavsky also met with his Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, as well as with the Energy Minister and CEO of QatarEnergy, Saad Sharida Kaabi, to discuss energy security.
According to a statement by the Czech Foreign Ministry, the main purpose of this visit was to support trade and cooperation between Prague and Doha, particularly in the field of energy.
The situation in Ukraine and the ongoing Russian invasion was also on the agenda, as were Qatar’s preparations for its hosting of the upcoming World Cup from the perspective of the Czech Embassy’s consular services.
The ceremonial opening of the Czech Embassy yesterday preceded Qatar’s opening of its own embassy in Prague, announced earlier this month.
The opening of their embassies comes at a time when the Czech Republic – like other European countries – is attempting to secure its growing energy needs amid a predicted looming global shortage of supplies.
As a land-locked country in central Europe, the Czech Republic has long relied heavily on Russian gas and has been limited in its capacities to receive sufficient liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies.
Qatar, with its massive natural gas resources, could therefore be a key supplier of the commodity, if sufficient deals are secured.
There have been some fears that Doha would be hesitant to provide Prague with energy deals and that relations between the two were strained due to the Qatari Emir’s early end of his visit to the Czech Republic earlier this month, after he was refused attendance at the European summit in the Czech capital.
The refusal was issued by European Union (EU) leaders and not by Prague itself, causing the Emir to reportedly reassure the Czech leadership that he does not blame them for it.