Interview of the Ukraine`s Deputy FM
H.E. Mr. Sergiy Kyslytsya to Qatari media
(newspapers "Al-Sharq", "Al-Arab", "Al-Raya", Qatar News Agency)
(Doha, May 14, 2017)
I would like to thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar and especially the Secretary General Dr. Ahmad Al-Hammadi for inviting me to visit Qatar to participate in the 17-th Doha Forum, which is seen as an important international platform for reviewing and discussing pressing political, economic, social and humanitarian issues pertaining not only to the Middle East but to the whole international community.
Ukraine has been following attentively the latest developments in the MENA region and praises the wise foreign policy of Qatar which has facilitated a lot bringing peace and stability to many countries in the Middle East which suffer from long lasting wars and disastrous armed conflicts. We also highly esteem Qatar`s endeavors on Syrian track aimed at achieving a full and unconditional cease-fire to save lives of innocent Syrians and to implement political transformations within the framework of Geneva accords. Ukraine has condemned many times the atrocities committed by Assad regime against Syrian population since the war in this country erupted.
Qatar is also an influential political mediator and a generous donor for those who are in need. The humanitarian contributions of Qatar made recently have helped to save millions of lives, provided shelter for hundreds of thousands of homeless refugees and educated thousands of children worldwide.
Together with other members of UNESCO Executive Board, where I represent Ukraine, we will elect this autumn a new director general of this Organization. That choice should be approved by the General Conference of UNESCO in November. I was glad to see in Paris that the Qatari candidate Dr. Hamad Al-Kawari was among the strongest ones. We will be happy to work with Dr. Hamad Al-Kawari if he is elected UNESCO director general.
Ukraine attaches great importance to the comprehensive development of its relations with Qatar as it enjoys a special and important place among Ukraine's partners in the Middle East.
I am very pleased to highlight the intensification of political dialogue that took place between our two countries in 2016-2017, namely the meeting of Foreign Ministers of our states at the Munich security conference in February 2016.
Also I would like to emphasize the importance of the talks held between the President of Ukraine Mr. Petro Poroshenko and the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani in September 2016 on the margins of the 71 th session of the UNGA in New York, during which the two leaders agreed on the need to undertake a number of measures to strengthen implementation of the agreements reached previously in all areas of mutual interest as well as to identify new promising areas of cooperation.
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the State of Qatar for its firm and consistent stance towards preserving sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine on the international arena.
Ukraine and the Ukrainians will always remember the support of the State of Qatar to the UNGA Resolution №68/262 of 27.03.2014 aimed at supporting territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the voting in December 2016 in favor of the UNGA resolution №71/205 on "Human rights situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol city (Ukraine)".
I would also like to thank the State of Qatar for the support rendered in September 2014 to Ukraine's candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the period 2016-2017.
I am satisfied that our countries already completed all formalities related to the preparation for the signing of important bilateral agreements which regulate the interaction of Ukraine and Qatar in trade, economic, investment and financial spheres.
I hope that this year we will witness the signing of intergovernmental agreements "On the promotion and reciprocal protection of investments", "on avoiding of double taxation", "on establishment of the Joint Ukrainian-Qatari Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation" and some others.
Despite the fact that levels of trade and economic cooperation between Ukraine and Qatar remain relatively low, I`m glad to point out a noticeable increase in the overall trade between our countries in 2016. Therefore, during 12 months of the last year the total external trade turnover between Ukraine and Qatar significantly outperformed the figures of 2015.
However, it is still evident that the present volume of trade between Ukraine and Qatar does not match the existing potential of both sides.
Ukraine is interested in mutually beneficial and pragmatic cooperation with the State of Qatar in the investment area. We would also welcome Qatari companies involved in investment projects in different areas such as energy, shipbuilding, hospitality, marine and airport privatization, infrastructure, telecommunications, banking and etc.
I am convinced that Ukrainian-Qatari cooperation in the energy sector can play an important role in energy diversification and energy security of the European countries.
I also like to make a special emphasis on the dire need to launch a direct airlink between the capitals of our countries.
In this context I warmly greet on announcement made in April 2017 by "Qatar Airways' regarding the intention to launch regular direct flights between Doha and Kyiv in 2017-2018.
I believe that it will be a positive factor for expanding investment activities and broadening tourist contacts.
It is important that the intensification of trade and economic cooperation gradually revived Ukrainian-Qatari cultural and humanitarian ties.
I congratulate the State of Qatar with the large-scale reform of labor legislation which will significantly improve the working conditions of foreign migrants, including those from Ukraine.
Also I would like to inform that starting from April 16, 2017 Qatari nationals have received an opportunity to visit Ukraine by obtaining entry visas directly at the border crossing points of Ukraine.