World, Europe

Spain receives Qatar’s emir amid global energy crisis

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to also visit Germany, UK, Switzerland

Alyssa McMurtry   | 17.05.2022
Spain receives Qatar’s emir amid global energy crisis

OVIEDO, Spain

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani arrived in Madrid on Tuesday for his first state visit to Spain since assuming the throne in 2013.

Upon his arrival in Madrid, the Qatari emir and his wife Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim Al Thani were received with the highest honors.

The Qatari royals were welcomed by Spain’s king and queen in the royal palace, where both couples will attend a gala for dinner alongside Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Last week, Spain’s King Felipe VI also granted the emir a collar of the Order of Isabella the Catholic.

Madrid Mayor Jose Martinez Almeida also presented the emir with a “golden key” to the Spanish capital.

During the presentation, Almeida highlighted the “envious natural resources” of Qatar, telling Al Thani that “it was vision and determination, not luck, that has made your country one of the richest on earth.”

The exquisite treatment comes as Spain, along with other EU countries, aims to diversify its natural gas supply.

Qatar is currently Spain’s fifth-largest supplier of natural gas, while the US has recently overtaken Algeria for the top spot.

During the two-day visit, Spain and Qatar are expected to sign several bilateral agreements, including on energy.

On Wednesday, Sanchez will hold an official meeting with Al Thani.

Meanwhile, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said Tuesday that he met with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, where they discussed “strategic dialogue, economic and energy cooperation, and the 2022 World Cup.”

The visit to Spain is part of the emir's European tour as the continent pushes to diversify its natural gas sources.

He was in Slovenia on Monday and is set to visit the UK, Germany and Switzerland in the coming weeks.

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