Qatar has emerged 'stronger' after blockade: Canada ambassador

Qatar has emerged 'stronger' after blockade: Canada ambassador
Canada's envoy to Qatar has said that Qatar has emerged 'stronger' from a 2017 blockade imposed on the Gulf state by a Saudi-led bloc.
2 min read
25 November, 2018
More than 9,000 Canadians currently work in Qatar across various sectors [TASS]

Qatar has emerged more robust from a Saudi-led blockade pn the Gulf state for over a year, Canada's envoy to the Gulf state told diplomats and business executives at a recent event in Doha.

Speaking at a welcome reception organised by the Canadian Business Council Qatar (CBCQ), Ambassador Stefanie McCollum emphasised strong bilateral ties between the two nations.

"Faced with a diplomatic and economic blockade imposed by its neighbours, Qatar has emerged stronger," McCollum told the CBCQ gathering.

"It has diversified trade routes, established new trading partners, build domestic capabilities in strategic sectors, such as agriculture, and have overcome unimaginable obstacles, while maintaining  peace, security, and stability for its citizens and residents - a commendable feat by any measures," she added.

The ambassador's remarks come as economists predict a significant increase in bilateral trade between Qatar and Canada. Just last week, national airliner Qatar Airways announced additional weekly flight to its Doha-Montreal route from 17 December.

McCollum described the Qatar-Canada relationship as "very strong" hailing the state's economic achievements made despite the Saudi-led boycott.

Since 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt have imposed a land, air and sea blockade on Qatar, accusing it of seeking closer ties with Iran and of supporting extremist groups.

Qatar denies the charges, accusing its neighbours of seeking regime change.

The boycott failed to dissuade Qatar's Western allies, including the US and UK.

"There is a renewed interest and enthusiasm on both sides to strengthen economic, commercial and diplomatic ties between Canada and Qatar. We are also working to have exchange of high-level political visits which will help pave the way for expanding cooperation," McCollum said.

At present, more than 9,000 Canadian citizens work in Qatar in a range of sectors, including oil and gas, healthcare and infrastructure. Many Canadian firms are also currently involved in the Gulf state's preparations for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup.