DOHA: Qatar yesterday reiterated a new law incorporating major changes in the existing labour legislation was on the anvil and would see the light of day soon.
Under the new regime, the relationship between the employer and his employee would be contractual.
“We are amending the labour law to improve the conditions for foreign workers,” Foreign Minister, H E Dr Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah, said here yesterday.
Replying to questions at a joint news conference he addressed with his visiting German counterpart, Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Al Attiyah said an international consultancy firm was appointed to study the situation here and recommend how the relations between the worker and his employer could be improved.
“We have worked a lot on the findings of the study conducted by the consultancy firm,” said Al Atityah.
Talking about Qatar’s contribution to Germany’s economy, he said Qatar’s investment in the country was ¤18bn ($24.6bn), reports Qatar News Agency. Al Attiyah said his talks with the German Foreign Minister dealt with opening further prospects of cooperation to serve the interests of the two countries and peoples.
He welcomed the presence of German companies in infrastructure development projects in Qatar.
He lauded the remarkable development of Qatari-German relations not only on the economic front but also in diverse aspects such as education, culture, science and technology, referring in this respect to the recently announced establishment, at the Science and Technology Park in Qatar, of a research and development centre affiliated to German motor giants Porsche and Volkswagen.
The Qatari and German sides discussed matters of common interest and the latest developments in the Middle East, especially the peace process and the Syrian crisis.
On the current developments in Libya, Al Attiyah appealed to the international community to support stability there, calling on all the Libyan political components to enter into dialogue, renounce violence, condemn assassinations and put the interest of Libya and the Libyan people to the fore.
In response to a question about Qatar’s role in the release of the American soldier in Afghanistan in exchange for the release of five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo, HE the Foreign Minister explained that when it comes to the question of humanity, H H the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani never stops short. “and this actually what happened to (US Army Private Bowe) Bergdahl and the five detainees in Guantanamo.”
He said the Emir has directed the competent authorities in the country to start this humanitarian mediation which was successful after long negotiations.
In response to a question about the recent presidential elections in Egypt, Dr Al Attiyah expressed the hope that these elections and their circumstances would be an encouraging factor.
However he felt that the only way to reach stability and realize understanding through dialogue with everyone in Egypt.
The German foreign minister announced that the Emir will pay an official visit to the Federal Republic of Germany during September.
He said, when the Emir received him today (yesterday), he felt the Qatari leadership’s keenness to move forward on the path of progress and development taking place in the state, stressing that the German delegation, which is made up of politicians, economists and journalists, is following this path with much attention .
He expressed pleasure over his visit to Qatar and his meeting for the third time with Al Attiyah since the beginning of this year to discuss many issues of common concern, such as bilateral relations and the Syrian crisis .
Dr Steinmeier said his current visit to Doha provided him with an opportunity to exchange views and hold discussions in various fields with the Foreign Minister, saying he was looking forward to further opportunities this year to discuss with Al Attiyah matters of interest to both countries.
Dr Steinmeier described Qatar as a “ dynamic state’’ with its economy witnessing high growth, as well as being a centre for many German companies which have extensive experience with some of them working in the country for more than 20 years .
He said, “I am accompanied in my visit to Qatar by an economic delegation caring much for the economic and investment development in it at a time when commercial exchange between the two countries achieved a growth rate of 7 percent over the past year.”
The German foreign minister referred to the many economic and investment opportunities in Qatar, hoping for the continuation of the joint economic cooperation between the two countries for the interest of the two countries and their friendly peoples. In a related context, he expressed admiration for the economic progress achieved by Qatar describing it as “excellent”.
He noted that his talks with Dr Al Attiyah dealt with the situation in the Middle East and developments in Syria, expressing concern of the two sides over the tragic events taking place in this country and their fears that they would spill over to countries neighbouring Syria.
He pointed out also that the talks dealt with other issues, including the Ukrainian crisis.
He went on to say:” we have noted the tragic situation of Syrian refugees of whom between 1.3 to 1.4 million fled to Lebanon, calling for providing them with assistance, especially since Lebanon bears a serious burden due to their presence on its territory.
Dr Steinmeier called for extending support to neighbouring countries hosting Syrian refugees, such as Jordan and Lebanon and also to whom he termed ‘’the moderate opposition’’ .
He believed that a solution to the problem of Syrian refugees lies in a political solution to the Syrian crisis, saying after the resignation of the UN/Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi, his successor should exert more effort in this difficult task.
The German Foreign Minister pointed out to the partnership between Qatar and Germany in this regard saying they are partners and must consult each other.
“Positive and open atmospheres have dominated our talks and I look forward to more of these meetings soon,” Dr Steinmeier said.
The German Foreign Minister expected the Friend of Syria Group to hold a meeting “after the so-called elections, which were decided by the Assad regime “to seek a political solution to the crisis .
In his answers, Steinmeier also touched on the situation in Egypt and the economic and other difficulties the country is going through, saying if the new leadership wants to succeed, it should move forward in remedying the economy.