(Speech held by Ramona Manescu, Chair-Woman of the EU-Qatar Friendship Group within the European Parliament, at the XV edition of the Doha Forum, 2015)
I am greatly honoured to have been invited to participate to DOHA FORUM, a prestigious forum of debate that celebrates its 15th edition this year. It is a great pleasure for me to be here and I would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar for its presence and for the warm welcoming in the opening ceremony and to H.E. Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar for the welcoming and for organizing this event trough the Permanent Committee for Organizing Conferences.
Also, I would like to thank to H.E Sheikh Ali BIN JASSIM AL-THANI, Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Kingdom of Belgium for working in close cooperation with DOHA and for extending the invitations to the EU-Qatar Friendship Group Members within the European Parliament.
In my quality of Chair-Woman of the EU-Qatar Friendship Group within the European Parliament, I Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to be here!
This is not my first visit to Qatar as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and as a member of the Delegation for the relations with the Arab Peninsula within the European Parliament. Any visitor is struck by the dynamic, outward looking nature of the country and its economy, the combination of modernity and tradition. Qatar is a start-up nation that already became a global brand.
As a member of both Mashreq and Arab Peninsula Delegations within the European Parliament, being in constant contact with this area and having a concerned interest in the future evolution of the relations between these countries and the EU, I must say that there is a striking contrast between what we see today, here in Qatar, or in other Middle-East neighbouring countries like UAE, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia and what we see not very far, in Yemen, Syria or Libya.
As Europeans, we also know something about war and peace, about resentment and reconciliation. It’s worth remembering how recent it really was – exactly seven decades ago – when the whole Europe was in ruins after a devastating conflict and how far we have come in such a short period of time.
(more on this can be read here)