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Qatar lauds hardworking Filipinos

Qatar has lauded the “excellent” relations with the Philippines and recognized the contributions of hardworking and honest Filipino workers to the Gulf nation’s growth during the first day of President Duterte’s visit here.

Qatar Energy Minister Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada relayed the government’s appreciation to the Philippine leader upon his arrival at the airport on Friday night (early yesterday morning in Manila).

The President’s visit to Qatar includes a highly-anticipated meeting with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to broaden bilateral cooperation on trade, investments, health assistance, and cultural exchanges today.

“We have an excellent relationship with your esteemed country and we have a good relation of your citizens living happily here,” the Qatari energy minister told Duterte during a brief conversation over tea at the Emiri Terminal of the Hamid International Airport.

“We are very proud of what they are doing, they are helping us in building, they are engineers, they are doctors, they are technicians, they are everywhere. We are honored to have such productive, honest people of the Philippines here in Qatar,” he added.

Al-Sada also said they are also deeply honored to welcome President Duterte on his visit first visit to Qatar.

Duterte is the second Philippine leader to visit Qatar since 2008 after then now Pampanga Rep. President Gloria M. Arroyo.

The President expressed his gratitude to Qatar for the warm welcome extended to him as well as for the good treatment of Filipino workers here.

Duterte, accompanied by several Cabinet members, is on the last leg of his weeklong journey to the Middle East. He earlier visited Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to broaden bilateral cooperation and promote the rights and welfare of Filipino workers.

“I’m happy to be here,” the President said during his red-carpet welcome at the elegant terminal exclusive to royalty and other Very Important Persons of Qatar. “Thank you for (hosting) the Filipinos who are here and they are being treated very well,” he added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)