(Above) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan co-chairs inaugural IMM with HE Sheikh Mohammed in Doha on Sunday 15 April 2018. (Photo by Qatar Ministry of Foreign Affairs). (Below): Dr Vivian Balakrishnan meets HE Dr Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah on 16 April 2018. (Photo by Qatar Ministry of Defence)

SINGAPORE’S Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made his introductory visit to Qatar from 15 to 16 April 2018. During the visit Minister Balakrishnan co-chaired the inaugural Implementation Monitoring Mechanism (IMM) with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al Thani. The IMM is viewed as a platform under the HLJC (High Level Joint Committee) umbrella to broaden cooperation and expedite bilateral initiatives.

A Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs release also revealed that Minister Balakrishnan attended the opening ceremony of the Qatar National Library (QNL), a major cultural landmark in Doha at HE Sheikh Mohammed’s invitation. There he met the Emir of the State of Qatar, HH Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, during which they reaffirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations, and agreed to explore substantive initiatives to elevate relations.

Minister Balakrishnan also met Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, HE Dr Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, Minister of Municipality and Environment, HE Mohammed Bin Abdullah Mitaib Al Rumaihi, and Secretary to the Emir for Security Affairs, HE Mohammed Bin Ahmed Abdullah Al Misnad. He also welcomed the upcoming visits to Singapore by HE Al Attiyah and His Excellency Al Rumaihi as useful opportunities to explore further engagement in their respective areas.

Minister Balakrishnan and HE Sheikh Mohammed affirmed the growth and substance of bilateral relations between the two nations and reviewed the outcome of the work done by representatives of both countries in six Technical Working Committees (TWCs) on 12 April 2018. They also endorsed a Joint Statement which set out a roadmap (click here for the roadmap) that outlines the structure of existing Singapore-Qatar bilateral platforms including the IMM, and the six TWCs for bilateral cooperation and engagement. Click here to read the Joint Statement.