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Interview

Nepal can showcase its art and culture during World Cup: Ambassador Yousuf Bin Mohamed

Pramod Jaiswal

Pramod Jaiswal

 |  Kathmandu

Yousuf Bin Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed Al-Hail is the Ambassador of Qatar to Nepal. He has been serving in Nepal since September 19, 2016. Prior to this, he worked at Africa Department at the Foreign Ministry, the Embassy of Qatar in Kuwait, the Embassy of Qatar in Pretoria, and the Department of Administrative and Financial Affairs. He joined the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on August 2, 1997.  Nepalkhabar recently talked to Ambassador Yousuf bin Mohamed Al-Hail on Nepal-Qatar relations and the EFIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.  Excerpts: 

Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 this month. What are the preparations for the World Cup?
The State of Qatar established the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy in 2011 to achieve the best conditions for the organization of the 2022 World Cup and to implement the necessary infrastructure to host the historic sports event. The State of Qatar has succeeded in constructing eight new stadiums equipped with all facilities and a modern air conditioning system, in addition to other vital infrastructure such as the metro, strengthening the road network around the stadiums and thousands of capacities in the field of hospitality, in addition to the construction of Hamad International Airport, which will be able to serve 50 million passengers annually.

How do you think this World Cup helps Qatar in projecting itself at the global level?
The State of Qatar sought to host the world cup 2022 in order to organize a distinguished tournament for football fans all over the world and to uphold the values of sports and tolerance among the people. Certainly, holding this event for the first time in the region of West Asia and the Middle East made the State of Qatar do everything in its power to provide the best where it is the focus of the attention of the world, and this hosting will leave a lasting legacy for the State of Qatar in the Middle East, Asia, and the world.

How do you look at Qatar’s engagement in South Asia? What is its interest in the region?
South Asia is important for the State of Qatar, which is keen to be an active partner for development, prosperity and investment with the countries of the region. Needless to say, the State of Qatar has distinguished diplomatic relations and close cooperation with the countries of the region, and as you know, trade and cultural relations and communication have roots in the distant history between West and South Asia. Global challenges have further demonstrated the importance of regional and multilateral cooperation for the benefit of people and governments.

Nepal and the State of Qatar established their diplomatic relations in 1977, within a few years of Qatar’s independence. How have the relations between both countries been fostered?
Relations between the State of Qatar and Nepal have witnessed continuous development and cooperation in various fields since the establishment of diplomatic relations, especially in the field of labor, since the State of Qatar hosts a large number of Nepali laborers, and there are also a number of agreements signed between the two countries in various fields. The State of Qatar has a continuous desire to develop and strengthen this relationship to serve the interests of the people of the two friendly countries. People-to-people relations also contribute greatly to the advancement and development of these relations, especially since there are high potentials to strengthen these ties through the common denominators between the people of the two countries by virtue of belonging to the Asian continent.

How has Qatar supported Nepal's development? How can Nepal and Qatar work together to promote tourism in Nepal?
The State of Qatar cooperates with Nepal in various fields, and we have a special interest in health and education. In this context, Qatar Charity works in various fields of humanitarian and development work, including building homes for those affected by the 2015 earthquake, and providing support in the sectors of food security, health, education and water, Qatar Fund for Development also provides support in the field of health and the fight against COVID-19. Nepal has excellent tourism potential, and I suggested to the Nepali Ministry of Culture and Tourism during previous meetings that it can organize an exhibition of Nepali art and culture during the World Cup period.

How has been your experience serving as the Ambassador of Qatar to Nepal? What are your favorite places that you have visited in Nepal?
I consider it rich and full of sincere diplomatic activities to strengthen relations between the two countries. Over the past years, I have felt the keenness of the two countries to achieve this in various fields, and I found all the cooperation and sincere desires of the Nepali side who facilitated my work tasks, and for my part, I have always been keen to diversify relations and not limit them to the field of labor only, although I assure the importance of cooperation in labor and the success achieved in it. I have visited various parts of Nepal in the east, west and south, and this always reminds me of the natural capacities of tourism that Nepal enjoys.



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