Brothers and Sisters Members of the Advisory Council,
I congratulate you on the occasion of the opening of the new session
of your esteemed Council, wishing you all success and fulfillment in
carrying out your exalted tasks.
We are appreciative of your valuable contributions to enriching
national work, not only in the legislative field, but also with enlightened
opinions in following up government performance and various
As you know that, within the framework of completing the
constitutional requirements for the election of the Advisory Council
members and practicing of its legislative functions in accordance with the
Permanent Constitution of the State of Qatar – we have issued Amiri
Decision No.(27) of 2019 extending the term of your esteemed Council for
two years starting from July 1, 2019 until June 30, 2021, and Amiri
Decision No.(47) of 2019 establishing and forming the High Committee
for the Advisory Council’s elections and defining its functions, under the
chairmanship of the Prime Minister to oversee preparations for the
Advisory Council elections, draw up the necessary draft laws, and propose
a timeline for the elections of the Council’s members. The elections’ date
shall be announced after the completion of the committee’s task.
It has been taken into account in setting the period of two years, that
the required constitutional procedures shall include the promulgation of
many important laws and legislative instruments, namely, an electoral
system act that sets the conditions and procedures for nomination and
voting, and a decree defining the electoral constituencies and zones of each
one of them, as well as other necessary administrative procedures. We will,
of course, submit to you the bills to be passed for approval in accordance
with the provisions of the Constitution.
Brothers and Sisters,
For the third consecutive year, the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar
has continued with its illegal practices, despite the crumbling down of all
the claims propounded to justify it.
By virtue of God’s support, credit for our success in containing most
of its negative impacts is attributable to maintaining our calm and decisive
approach in handling this crisis, revealing all its related facts to the whole
world, while adhering to the independence of our political decision vis-àvis attempts to impose tutelage on us, as well as strengthening our bilateral
relations with friendly and allied countries.
Since the outset of the crisis, we have expressed our readiness for
dialogue to resolve differences between the Gulf Cooperation Countries
(GCC) and within the framework of its charter on four bases: mutual
respect, common interests, avoidance of dictating a foreign policy, and
non-interference in internal affairs.
The Qatari people, with their noted magnanimity, stood up together as
one man in defense of their homeland’s sovereignty and principles,
because they realize that renunciation of the independent decision-making
is conducive to losing the homeland itself along with its wealth and
Our national march has proceeded forward, with confident strides, to
implement the development programs as prescribed. Qatar’s Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) at current prices grew in 2018 by about 15% and
non-hydrocarbon GDP by about 9%.
The importance of that has been further boosted by the fact that the
government has sought this year to restore balance to the State budget, by
cutting public expenditure, without affecting priority projects.
Brothers and Sisters,
In my address before your esteemed Council in the aftermath of the
unjust blockade imposed on us, I stated that this blockade would strengthen
our steadfastness and push us forward to deal in a better way with the new
circumstances that ensued. And this is what actually happened.
I will focus hereinafter on the most important initiatives, projects and
policies we have adopted, and which show that we have overcome the
negative impacts of the blockade, and that we are steadily moving towards
achieving the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.
In preparing the second national development strategy, we have
benefited from the experience of the first strategy, and we took into
consideration the new regional circumstances, and the significant change in
the energy market caused by the discovery of shale oil and shale gas.
Reports indicate a significant progress in the field of economic
diversification, encouraging the private sector, increasing the production
capacity of power generation plants and establishing an advanced
agricultural and livestock-fish production system.
The progress made is notable, but we have much still to do in the
areas of economic diversification, food and medicine security, renewable
energy, revitalization of the private sector and cutting red-tape that hinders
progress and advancement.
As for the legislative tools needed to achieve reforms, an important
law was promulgated at the beginning of this year to reorganize foreign
investments in economic activity by providing them with facilities and
incentives. The simplification of bureaucratic procedures should also be
A decree law regulating food and strategic commodities reserve has
also been issued, in addition to a law on supporting national products
competitiveness as well as combating of commercial practices harmful to
such competitiveness. We have to protect the national product achieved by
the local industry while controlling, at the same time, its quality and
We are also in the process of issuing other laws on public-private
As a result of the efforts to cut expenditure and increase efficiency,
the big budget deficit in 2017 was turned into a surplus. Although the
spending was reduced, the general State budget has continued to attach
importance to and focus on priority sectors, especially education, health
and investment in infrastructure.
We have been able to restore the State reserves to levels higher than
the pre-blockade levels. The Qatari Riyal has also maintained its stability
and value despite various systematic attempts to cause it to crash.
The State of Qatar has also maintained its robust credit rating by the
international rating agencies. We have also fulfilled our commitments in
the field of combatting money laundering and terrorism funding, and a law
has been issued in this respect this year.
Last year and this year have witnessed a development in the energy
sector which will reinforce the strength of Qatar’s economy and the status
of Qatar in the international natural gas market. We are on the right track
towards achieving a qualitative and quantitative leap in liquefied gas
production and export.
Qatar Petroleum has continued to proceed on its course to become
global, as it has started to participate in explorations and production in ten
countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia of which two are Arab
countries. Energy would remain a major source of wealth in Qatar and a
resource for financing development projects. We shall remain committed
to preserving the rights of the future generations.
As to the infrastructure, the exerted efforts are clearly visible and the
achievements are evident, whether on the level of roads, bridges and
tunnels or on the level of public parks and general landscapes of our towns.
The private sector has participated in QR. 27 billion worth of major
projects over the last five years. The State is supposed to act to increase the
private sector participation in these projects in the future.
Brothers and Sisters,
We cannot achieve development and make our homeland join the
ranks of the developed countries if we do not pay great attention to the
human being, because he is the pillar of any development. Development is
not measured by buildings and facilities only, but rather by the ability of
human beings to plan, build and maintain them, and by the schools that
educate them and the universities from which they graduate, as well as the
quality of education, culture and the prevailing values and ethics.
We feel contented and happy for the capability of the State to provide
services and a decent standard of living. However, we cannot build a
human being if a feeling pattern of being entitled to privileges is stabilized
with endless expectations from the State without any deep sense of duty by
the individual citizen towards the society and the homeland. He who does
not give, does not appreciate what he obtains. Citizenship includes rights
not privileges. It doesn’t only involve rights but also responsibilities and
duties, foremost among them is to work sincerely and with precision, each
in his position, as each position is important.
Rights, brothers and sisters, are not privileges or a mere sense of
superiority engendered by identity or unwarrantable transcendence towards
others, because humility is a proof of self-confidence, and showing respect
to others is a reflection of self-respect. The responsibilities of citizenship
also require being appreciative of the those who have worked hard in
building this country, and this includes our resident brothers.
The Almighty Allah says: “And for each there are degrees (of reward
and punishment) for what they have done, and it is so that He may fully
compensate them for their deeds, and they will not be wronged.” He also
says: ” Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds. For them is a
reward uninterrupted.” Our fellow resident brothers who live with us in
Qatar are not here as a result of a favor conferred on them, but by virtue of
their work, which is indispensable to us, and by means of their appreciated
contribution to the building of this country.
Brothers and Sisters,
I have previously spoken to you about the importance we attach to the
development of the judicial systems, so as to consolidate the independence
of the judiciary and realization of a prompt justice. Significant steps have
been taken, such as updating many laws that are related to litigation
procedures to provide speedy and easy procedures for litigants. Reports
have been sent to me on the establishment of mechanisms to expedite the
enforcement of rulings, particularly those regarding alimonies, debts and
All this is not enough, and efforts must be exerted to modernize the
functioning of the judiciary to make it a success. Work is under way to
increase the number of judges and members of the public prosecution and
to expand on establishing specialized courts and to open new court
Brothers and Sisters,
Our Gulf region is witnessing accelerated events and very serious and
delicate developments threatening the security and stability of the region,
which oblige our states and the international community to double their
efforts to halt the deterioration and to adopt dialogue as a means of settling
disputes. Sisterly states have started to realize the rightness of our position
that GCC countries have no interest in tensioning the situations.
Regrettably, the absence of the GCC role amid these circumstances
has been observed due to the fabricated crises, the resources they waste
and the potentials they waste.
Despite the unjust blockade imposed on our country, the right position
and responsible behavior have reinforced Qatar’s status and consolidated
its role as an active partner on the regional and international arenas.
In our foreign policy, we have chosen a strategy based on a balance
between our firm principles and our security and economic interests. All
this is within the framework of defining our civilizational, geographical
and strategic position in this world as well as knowing our potentials. We have chosen to assume a role to facilitate dialogue, just solutions and
peaceful settlement of disputes. We have participated in all international
and regional efforts that aim to achieve peaceful coexistence, protecting the
environment, fighting poverty and in all efforts amid at combating
terrorism and its causes.
The seventy-fourth session of the UN General Assembly was an
appropriate opportunity to remind the international community of the
strategic importance of our Gulf region, that necessitates the achievement
of political and security stability in it, which is a goal that would only be
achieved through peaceful means and through making the Middle East,
without exception, a weapons of mass destruction free-zone.
It was also an opportunity to remind the international community that
peace in the Middle East can’t be achieved without enabling the
Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate rights, foremost among them
is the establishment of an independent Palestinian State on the 1967
borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, as stated by the resolutions of
the international legitimacy and the Arab Peace Initiative. Accordingly, the
normalization of relations with Israel without a just solution to the problem
of Palestine is a mere illusion.
Regarding the Syrian affair, we assert our firm position on the
necessity of finding a negotiated political solution among all Syrian parties
in accordance with Geneva Communique (1) and the Security Council
Resolution (2254) to maintain the unity, sovereignty and stability of Syria,
and we reiterate our rejection of the Israeli decision to perpetuate Israel’s
sovereignty over the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
With regard to Yemen, we believe that the continuation of the conflict
poses a direct threat to regional and international security and peace. We
call on all parties to give priority to the higher interest of the brotherly
Yemeni people and to spare them further suffering. We call on the active
powers of the international community to act on providing the appropriate
conditions for the resumption of the political solution based on the Gulf
Initiative and the outcomes of the National Dialogue and Security Council
Resolution (2216), and to help the Yemeni people conduct an inter-Yemeni
dialogue without foreign interference to realize the aspirations of the
brotherly Yemeni people in security and stability.
Regarding the situations in Libya, we reaffirm the necessity of
achieving national concordance among all components of the Libyan
people without any external interference. We renew our support for the
recognized Government of National Reconciliation and reaching a
comprehensive political settlement that preserves Libya’s sovereignty and
territorial integrity, and fulfills the aspirations of its brotherly people for
security and stability. We affirm that the support of some countries for
those who are outside the political process and international legitimacy is
the main impediment to achieving stability in Libya.
As for the brotherly Sudan, we value the positive steps achieved in the
political process, the latest of which is the formation of the Sudanese
government, and we renew our support for it to meet the aspirations of all
Brothers and Sisters,
In conclusion, I pray to Allah to help us all in serving our country, and
to achieve further aspirations of our people for progress and prosperity.
May Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you.