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Russian-Qatari relations

About the article of H.E.Mr. N.Kholov in the Qatar Tribune

RAMY SALAMA

DOHA

QATARI-Russian relations continue to deepen. From February 7 to 10, a delegation of the upper house of the Russian Parliament including the Special Envoy of the Russian President for cooperation with Africa and head of the Council of the Federation Committee for Foreign Affairs HE Mikhail Margelov made an official visit to Qatar.

During that visit, the delegation had fruitful negotiations with Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al Thani and other senior Qatari officials on a wide range of issues of common interest including the latest regional developments, with the objective of the intensification of bilateral relations.

Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Qatar HE Nurmakhmad Kholov presented his credentials to HH the Emir on January 28, this year.

Qatar Tribune spoke with the ambassador about his diplomatic background, his priorities in his capacity as an envoy, and about the present and future of Qatari-Russian relations.

Recounting his diplomatic career, which spans over 35 years, Kholov noted that he had several years' experience working in the Arab region. He said:"My diplomatic career started in 1976, and since that time I have worked in Soviet and then in Russian diplomatic missions in several countries in the region \- ” Qatar, Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Between 2001 and 2005, I served as a Consul General of the Russian Federation in Alexandria, Egypt."

On a more personal note, Kholov added,"I speak Russian, Arabic, Farsi and English. I am married and have four children ” one son and three daughters."

Following his posting in Egypt, Kholov was tasked with the affairs of Russian expatriates living overseas, an issue which continues to be one of his chief priorities. Indeed, Kholov hopes to organise a social centre where Russian expatriates can meet their compatriots.

He said,"After Egypt, I worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Department on Work with Russian Compatriots Abroad. Today, about 2,500 Russian nationals live in Qatar and this number is increasing. Working with compatriots abroad is now a priority in Russian foreign policy, and our embassy in Qatar aims at consolidating the Russian expatriate community and creating a community centre here."

Kholov is optimistic about the Qatari-Russian relations, and predicts that ties between the two countries will continue to deepen on many fronts."We can now witness positive developments in the Qatari-Russian relations, and their future is very promising. So, the major priority for me is to bring the Qatari-Russian relations to a new level of mutually beneficial cooperation," he said.

Referring to the current status of relations between the two countries and listing the areas where the two countries are at present cooperating fruitfully, Kholov noted that a"strategic dialogue (as we usually call the regular consultations at the level of deputy foreign ministers) between the two countries has been already launched. We are cooperating with our Qatari partners in different spheres, among the most important being economy, politics, culture and sports. The investment sphere is believed to be very promising as well.