London, Asharq Al-Awsat- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown received yesterday morning Sheikh Hamad Bin-Jasim Al Thani, Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister. The economic crisis topped the issues the two officials discussed at the meeting which lasted half an hour at the cabinet premises, 10 Downing Street.
A British Government spokesman said the meeting between the British and Qatari prime ministers “was very warm” and they discussed bilateral relations. The spokesman told Asharq Al-Awsat that “there was a discussion in depth of the economy and the global economic situation” and added: “The British and Qatari prime ministers discussed the possible Qatari investment opportunities in the United Kingdom.” Brown is trying to attract investments from Qatar to salvage [Britain’s] economy that has been damaged by the financial crisis in addition to gaining wider international support for the 20 countries’ summit which is due to be held in London in April. It is recalled that Brown met Sheikh Hamad in Davos last week when both attended the global economy forum.
The spokesman refrained from giving the political details of the meeting but stressed that both sides “discussed the Middle East issues in addition to the situation in Sudan.” Asked whether Sheikh Hamad discussed the Palestinian issue with Brown and the results of his visit to Paris where he met President Nicolas Sarkozy, the spokesman merely said “they discuss the Middle East issues.”
Sheikh Hamad visited London following his visit to Paris where he held talks with senior officials there. Abdullah Bin-Id al-Sulayti, acting director of the Qatari prime minister’s office, and Khalid al-Mansuri, Qatar’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, attended the meeting. Sheikh Hamad did not meet British Foreign Secretary David Miliband who was in Washington to meet his US counterpart Hillary Clinton.