Official visit of the President Armen Sarkissian to the State of Qatar
President Armen Sarkissian and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian have arrived to the State of Qatar on official visit.
At the Hamad International Airport of Doha, the state flags of the Republic of Armenia and the State of Qatar were raised and the honor guard was lined up.
The President of Armenia was welcomed by the Minister of Transport and Communication of Qatar Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, other officials.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the State of Qatar on official visit, was today at the Qatar Foundation.
The Foundation, which is implementing significant programs in the areas of education, science, and community development, was created in 1995 by then-emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his wife Moza bint Nasser Al-Misned. The latter is also the Chairperson of the Foundation and is actively engaged in the educational and social development processes of the country and has been playing a considerable role in the implementation of multiple national and international projects pertinent to these areas.
The President of Armenia was informed on the main areas of the Foundation’s activities and its structure, as well as the ongoing programs. It was noted that the Foundation aims "to support Qatar on its journey to a knowledge economy by unlocking human potential.” The Foundation comprises a number of institutions, including a scientific and technological park, library, Education City. Branches of some of the most prestigious international institutions, such as the Georgetown and Cornell Universities and London University college are represented at the Education City, thus creating a unique academic and scientific model. One of the well-known initiatives of the Foundation is the World International Summit for Education (WISE), which is being held since 2009. It is a global platform for presenting innovation and new approaches in the area of education.
After the tour of the Foundation, President Sarkissian met with its head and co-founder Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al-Misned. The latter presented to Armen Sarkissian educational and scientific programs and expressed gratitude to the President of Armenia for his participation at the opening of the World International Summit for Education initiated by the Foundation. President Sarkissian conveyed his impressions of the tour and said that the opportunities for cooperation were huge because of common and coinciding interests. The President noted that he wishes to see Armenia as an educational and scientific hub, to have a new educational system based on innovation, to be modern and inventive because the 21st century is a time of rapid changes and to achieve success it is necessary to be able to swiftly adapt to the new realities.
President Sarkissian introduced the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential initiative which is aimed at the development in Armenia of modern technologies and science. Noting that the project has a number of components, including a concept of science and technology city, and the museum of future, the President said that the initiative aims at becoming a platform where the Armenian and international companies, research centers and universities would cooperate and implement jointly scientific projects. President Sarkissian said that the Foundation of Qatar could also be an interesting partner in the framework of this project.
The parties concurred that potential and opportunities for cooperation were huge and agreed to create a working group to establish areas of cooperation.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the State of Qatar on official visit, together with his spouse Nouneh Sarkissian was hosted at the National Library of Qatar which is one of the Foundation of Qatar’s structures.
President Sarkissian and Mrs. Sarkissian toured the library, familiarized with the materials kept there, publications as well as the exhibits of the Heritage Museum including unique books, manuscripts, maps, other valuable samples of the Arab and Islamic culture.
The National Library of Qatar serves as a university and public library for research and is equipped with modern digital devices. According to the 2018 data, its depository contains close to 800,000 books; in addition, the library has 500,000 electronic books and periodicals.
At the conclusion of the visit, responding to the questions of the journalists, President Sarkissian said that the library is an exceptional institution, “We agreed with the director of the library that we would connect them with Matenadaran. When I am back, I will arrange for many books to be sent here because, along with everything else, they translate some of the books into Arabic and not for commercial purposes but as a necessary tool for science and reading,” the President noted. “Collaboration of this library with the National Library of Armenia and Matenadaran will be of great worth because huge amounts of money are being spent here to digitalize the books, make them accessible and, in general, to develop the library culture. I believe this is one of the best libraries I have ever seen.”
Speaking of the meeting with the Chairperson of the Foundation of Qatar, Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al Missned, Armen Sarkissian noted that Sheikha has a vision for her country and for the human development in general. “The attitude of the Qataris toward the world culture and science is unique and precious. The Foundation of Qatar is not only a huge structure but also huge investments. Branches of the best universities of the world are established here, voluminous research is being carried out related not only to the Arabic, Arab culture and religion but in a number of other areas, ranging from nuclear physics to modern biology. Here great opportunities for learning exist.”
The President noted that Armenia and Qatar would establish a working group. The agreement on this was reached during the meeting with Sheikha Moza. The group will study the possible areas of cooperation, including student exchange programs and joint scientific research in the areas of modern physics, history and culture. “The realm of the activities of the Foundation of Qatar is wide and the majority of those who study here, 60-70 percent, are foreigners. It means the cooperation with Armenia is very important because our vision is to make Armenia an international center of science, education, and culture. They are doing the same here, thus our cooperation is a logical thing to do,” the President of Armenia said.
In the framework of his official visit to the State of Qatar, President Armen Sarkissian visited the Embassy of Armenia in Doha. The Armenian embassy in the State of Qatar was opened this year through the active support of Emir and the government of Qatar.
President Sarkissian was welcomed by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Armenia to the State of Qatar Gegham Gharibjanian, spiritual leader of the Armenian Diocese of Qatar, His Grace Ter Poghos Vardapet Tinkjian, representatives of the Armenian community, and students of the Armenian Mesropian school.
Greeting the audience, President Sarkissian assessed the day as a historic one for all. “Qatar is a friendly state, friendly nation. We all waited for the opening of this embassy for many years. During my numerous visits, when I met with many of you, the question was asked when Armenia would finally open an embassy in Qatar,” the President recalled. “Today, it is a reality and believe that especially for you, the Armenian community of Qatar, the life will change considerably because you will be closer through a direct link to the Fatherland. Fatherland’s presence will be not only in your hearts but in your daily life. I trust Armenia and Qatar have plenty to do in the politics, in the economy, in business relations and in cultural life. The Embassy should become the bridge which will connect you to the Fatherland but also make Armenia-Qatar relations closer. I mean that I expect each of you to be actively involved participants in the development of Armenia-Qatar relations.”
The President congratulated all present on the opening of the Embassy and expressed special thanks to Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the friendly people of Qatar for the assistance in establishing embassy. “Opening of the embassy would not be possible without good will and enormous, including financial assistance of Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. I convey my words of gratitude to the people of Qatar, its government, and Emir,” the President underscored. “It is a special gesture of friendship and each of us should appreciate it and do everything so that this friendship, brotherly relations between the two nations strengthen and expand. Thus, welcome to the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia, welcome home.”
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the State of Qatar on official visit, and Mrs. Nouneh Sarkissian met with the representatives of the Armenian community of Qatar.
The President greeted the participants of the meeting and underscored that Armenia already has its embassy in the friendly Qatar which would provide a new quality to the bilateral relations. “This is very important, significant. It is important for our interstate relations because we ensure another, a higher level of relations, and I hope that in the nearest future Qatar too, will open embassy in Armenia,” the President said. “Thus, the relations between the two countries will deepen, strengthen, expand, and I hope that each of you will have an opportunity to chip in to our cooperation in all areas – science, culture, arts, architecture, construction, business life, and politics.”
President Sarkissian noted that Armenia and Qatar have huge potential for developing their relations, and Armenia is interested in the deepening of cooperation. “I have had the opportunity to visit the Foundation of Qatar and meet with the founder. The institution is splendid and impressive. This small country fully realized the importance of education, culture and science and looks toward future. For us, it is good in a sense and is an example of a friendly competitor, because in the 21st century we should bring our contribution not only to our country but to the world culture, science and development of modern technologies - that is the future.”
He noted that any major change taking place in the world right now, creates problems for all but each difficulty is also an opportunity for the nations which have the ability to concentrate, unite and possess a precise plan for moving forward. “I believe, the time has come for us not to divide ourselves into Hayastantsi and Spyurk Armenians. The geographical location, being far away from the Fatherland doesn’t mean we don’t belong to the same Fatherland. Certainly, you live in this country and it is very important that you are good citizens of this country but, at the same time, don’t forget your identity, who you are, where you came from and where you want to go, where you want to take your children,” the President of Armenia underscored. “I expect that we all together will give our potential, energy, skills and knowledge for the success of our country, at the same time, will never forget our identity. It is very significant that every newborn Armenian child becomes the carrier not only of his or her native language but of the history and the culture of our nation. The road we have taken, we will pass it together, hand in hand because there is no other route leading to success and victory.”
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the State of Qatar on official visit, today in Doha met with the Prime Minister of Qatar, Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.
The Prime Minister of Qatar welcomed the official visit of the President of Armenia to the State of Qatar and stressed the importance of the interstate relations with Armenia.
President Sarkissian expressed gratitude to the government of Qatar for assisting in the opening of the Embassy of Armenia in Qatar and noted that it would elevated the bilateral relations to a new level. He expressed hope that Qatar in its turn would open an embassy in Yerevan.
At the meeting discussed were opportunities for deepening the relations between the two countries. The parties concurred that there exist great opportunities and a good base for the expansion and strengthening of the cooperation between the two friendly states.
President Sarkissian noted that Armenia, as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, has every chance to become a transit state for entering the markets of other countries.
Among especially promising areas of cooperation were mentioned construction, real estate, tourism, agriculture, and food safety areas. President Armen Sarkissian underlined also existing great potential for collaboration in the scientific, educational, technological areas and in this context mentioned the opportunities for cooperation in the framework of the Presidential ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) project which is aimed at the development of modern technologies and science in Armenia.
A private meeting between the President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian, who is in Qatar on official visit, and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani took place at the Diwan of the Emir of the State of Qatar.
Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani welcomed the President of Armenia and underscored their personal years-long superb relations and congratulated on the occasion of opening of the Embassy of Armenia. He noted that our countries enjoy excellent relations. President Armen Sarkissian thanked the Emir for abolishing visa requirements for the citizens of Armenia and for the assistance in opening embassy of Armenia in Qatar.
The President expressed confidence that the abolishment of visa requirements would have a positive impact on the further enhancement of the economic, cultural, scientific, educational and especially touristic areas.
The President of Armenia and Emir of Qatar underlined great potential for cooperation existing between the two friendly nations, the importance of expanding and strengthening the relations. Among possible areas of cooperation, they noted healthcare, education, and agriculture, as well as the opportunities to study in Doha. President Sarkissian said that he was very impressed with the Foundation of Qatar. “It is also an international center and has many similarities with our vision for development,” President Sarkissian noted, “thus, we have decided to establish a joint working group to decide on the areas of cooperation.” The President underlined great potential for cooperation in the scientific, educationa,l and technological areas and in this context mentioned the opportunities for cooperation in the framework of the ATOM (Advanced Tomorrow) Presidential initiative which is aimed at the development of science and modern technologies in Armenia.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the State of Qatar on official visit, met in Doha with the Head of the Qatar Investment Authority on Investments Ahmed Ali Al Hamad and Regional Director Faisal Thani Al Thani. Present at the meeting was also the CEO of the Armenian National Interests Fund David Papazian.
Discussed were opportunities for cooperation with Armenia, implementation of investment programs. They also stressed the importance of establishing an efficient cooperation between the Armenian National Interests Fund and Qatar Investment Authority. Among possible areas of cooperation with Armenia mentioned were areas of energy, food safety, and logistic infrastructure. The agreement was reached to ensure information exchange between the two structures - the Armenian National Interests Fund and Qatar Investment Authority - and to continue discussions on possible cooperation.
The Qatar Investment Authority is a state investment fund which implements investment projects in the country as well as abroad. The main areas of its activities are real estate, securities, and others. Assets under the management of the Qatar Investment Authority are close to 335 billion US dollars.
The official ceremony of welcoming the President of Armenia Armen Sarkissian took place at the Diwan – the residence of the Emir of the State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
At the entrance to the Diwan, the President of Armenia was greeted by Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Official anthems of Armenia and Qatar were performed. President Sarkissian and Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani passed by the Honor Guard.
The President of Armenia and Emir of Qatar greeted the members of the official delegations of the two countries.
The President of Armenia, who is Qatar on official visit, met in Doha with the leadership of the Qatari Businessmen Association, members of the Association and representatives of some companies.
The Qatari Businessmen Association is a non-governmental organization which unites companies working in different areas and businessmen who are active not only in Qatar but also abroad. The state encourages activities of the Association.
Armen Sarkissian presented to the entrepreneurs the investment and competitive opportunities of our country and noted that Armenia – a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, cooperates closely with the European Union and could offer good opportunities as a transit route to enter markets of other countries. The President viewed the opening of the Armenian Embassy in Qatar, abolishment of visa requirements and a direct air link between the two countries as good prerequisites for the development of tourism and bilateral business ties.“Armenia has not only magnificent nature, enormous historical and cultural heritage and is a country of ancient history but also has a rapidly developing tourism and service areas, as well as a mature banking system. Thus, I invite you to Armenia to familiarize with our country and existing business opportunities, to discover our country for yourselves,” President Sarkissian said.
From the viewpoint of developing the bilateral cooperation, the President of Armenia viewed as promising areas of tourism, science, education and technologies, food production and supply, jewelry making and other areas.
Members of the Qatari Businessmen Association welcomed the visit of President Sarkissian to their country and expressed readiness to cooperate with Armenia.
The agreement was reached at the meeting to organize a visit of the Qatari businessmen to Armenia soon to see firsthand opportunities for cooperation and discuss possible areas of collaboration.
President Armen Sarkissian, who is in the State of Qatar on official visit, participated in Doha at the prestigious 10th World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE 2019).
The WISE is an international undertaking which aims at transforming education through innovation, enhancement of new approaches and study of new methods to face urgent global educational problems. It is a multifaceted platform for creative thinking, discourse and targeted activities.
The Summit is an initiative of the Foundation of Qatar and is being conducted under the auspices of the Chairperson of the Foundation and co-founder Sheikha Moza bint Nasser al-Missend since 2009. Previous speakers of the Summit included the Secretary General of the UN António Guterres, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, other reputable individuals.
This year, the Summit is attended by over 3000 representatives of state and private sectors from over 100 countries, among them scholars, experts, and researchers.
President Armen Sarkissian made a statement at the Summit and said in particular: “I would like to start with the words of gratitude addressed to Her Majesty who has invited me to participate, not only speak but also listen and learn because education is eternal and for all. Education is the most important part of our life, our activities, of humankind.
I would also like to thank Her Majesty for the opportunity to visit the Foundation of Qatar. It is a splendid, aimed into the future structure indeed. But most of all, I would like to thank for the opportunity to visit the library. I truly enjoyed it. Part of it looks like an archeological site, contains 65,000 manuscripts which tell not only the history of Qatar but also the culture of the region and human history. There are millions of books which tell the history of the today’s humanity, present the riches of everything we have – science, technologies, culture.
While being there, I got the idea that the place could be named “The Gates of Time” which connects us with the past of thousands of years but at the same library you can look towards the future and ponder which way to choose. Certainly, when one thinks of “The Gates of Time”, one starts to ponder about the time itself, about where we are and what are we doing. Today, the world is somewhat confused: we don’t know where we are moving towards, there are multiple questions and only few answers on what is going on in the world. The world seems to be unpredictable, ungovernable. What are we going to do next?
Allow me to express my personal opinion on this and I will use again “The Gates of Time” moving back 100-150 years. 100-150 years ago, the humanity was using the great ideas and theories of Isaak Newton and others. Classical mechanics was reigning everywhere and was providing answers to all questions. Science was able to explain everything, including cosmos and planets. However, the situation started to change gradually. Especially in course of in-depth researches of universe or little particles, classical mechanics was not able to provide explanations to many phenomena. Comparing things which happened in science 150 years ago, one can see that the history repeats itself. Today too, science is somewhat confused, scholars are confused, teachers, many of universities, because they don’t know what to teach the kids, there are so many questions which have no answers. But the answer came by itself. Human genius in the person of Albert Einstein, Heisenberg and others created the theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. It changed totally our approach, our philosophy and logic regarding many issues. It is necessary to change the entire way of thinking, to accept the quantum world where everything is in harmony.
In the next 100 years, the world, countries and societies, we all will reap the fruits which have been brought by the new mindset of the quantum world.
When I think of the contemporary world, I see that confusion is even greater today. What’s next? I will use “The Gates of Time” again. The world is totally different. When I look through “The Gates of Time”, I see the following motto, “Welcome to the new, quantum world.” This is a world where the personal ability is important. Look at our children. They are born and their first interaction with the world is not only mechanical or material but also virtual. They start to live two lives: real and virtual. Smartphones become part of their everyday life. Turned off iPads are their actual books. Healthcare has changed too.
Through the introduction of artificial intelligence and quantum physics we will be able very fast to read our DNA, will be able to live longer, to defeat diseases. Industry will change too.
From now on, an auto vehicle can be assembled by two robots. In this case, what the huamns will do?
Human activities will include creative work, design, control over all this. Individuals from now on will be interconnected. We are already quantum in a sense that our communication can take place with the speed of light. Each of us has a depository of knowledge in our pockets. The question is whether we can use it, create something important and beautiful from that knowledge. In the quantum world, in which we will be living, there will be individual’s power. We already live in that world. Part of our politics has also become quantum,” the President said. In his statement President Sarkissian stressed the importance of education with its significant mission of revealing talents.
“Each child is born gifted. Bach was not taught to create music, he was born with that ability, however, a proper environment should be created and talents should be encouraged,” Armen Sarkissian said.
“Certainly, it is not easy to find talents, it requires patience, love and hard work. But it is very important for children to discover their gift.” The President of Armenia underscored that even if a person is successful, gifted and powerful, he or she shouldn’t forget that there are thousands of people around them who have no access to the same technologies and information. Thus, it is important to always remember about others. “Geniuses were not born in rich cities; they were born in small towns, in obscure places. We have to remember about it,” the President of Armenia said.
According to Armen Sarkissian, the new boost in our life should be young people’s trust in their own abilities. “You must believe that you can become a startup and be successful because this is startups’ time,” he said.
“Have trust in yourselves. Is knowledge, information enough? I believe not, because there is something more important – your identity, your human values, your faith, your culture. You should know your culture very well. We spend way too much time to reveal talents and support them. But we also should be sure that that talent will become richer through culture, nation, and family. Human energy, talent, and genius can be productive as well as not. We are protected by human values, native history, culture, knowledge about our religion which is very important. I believe you can live in a desert and have a successful life, create knowledge and culture in a desert. But life, success, and knowledge are not possible without morality and culture.”
At the conclusion of his speech, President Armen Sarkissian wished success to all present and underscored once again that a person remains young when he or she lives by learning something new every day, teaching others, or creating something. “I wish you all a young, beautiful, and healthy life,” the President of Armenia said in conclusion.
In the framework of his official visit to the State of Qatar, President Armen Sarkissian met today in Doha with the Father Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
His Majesty welcomed the first official visit of President Armen Sarkissian to the State of Qatar.
In the framework of his official visit to the State of Qatar, President Armen Sarkissian met in Doha with the Minister of Municipality and Environment Issues Abdulla bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie.
Speaking of the efficient discussions and agreements reached in the course of the visit, President Sarkissian said that the relations between Armenia and Qatar hold huge potential for development and that Armenia is interested in the deepening of the mutually beneficial cooperation.
President Sarkissian spoke of investment and competitive opportunities existing in our country and advantages. Among promising areas of cooperation, the interlocutors mentioned food processing, supply, and food safety.
President Sarkissian noted that Armenia, which is a member to the Eurasian Economic Union, could be viewed as a trade platform and gateway to larger markets. Besides, our country has an advanced mineral water production industry and in this area too, potential for cooperation is great.
Minister Abdulla bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie said that those are very important areas for Qatar and they are interested in the implementation of joint programs.
The parties agreed to organize reciprocal visits of businessmen, exchange necessary information and continue discussions on the opportunities for future cooperation.
“I know this country very well, have been visiting it for many years, have many friends here among the leadership of the country, in the business community, in the areas of education and science. I am glad that the relations of many years, meetings and ideas today serve our country, the state, our nation,” President Sarkissian said at the meeting with journalists referring to the course of the visit, meetings and reached agreements. President Armen Sarkissian is in the State of Qatar on official visit. “The visit has been pretty intensive. The results are very clear: both sides spoke about our very close relations. Among evident results is the abolishment of visa requirements for the citizens of Armenia, it means tourism from Armenia to Qatar and from Qatar to Armenia will increase rapidly. This will also open the door for the businessmen to come faster and more comfortable to Qatar, observe the opportunities which are pretty ample. And vice versa: Qataris will come to Armenia to see the existing investment opportunities.
Another component is Sheikha Moza’s invitation. She is the mother of Emir and is well-known all over the world as a person who has a vision, especially when it comes to the development of science and education. The results are exciting because the Foundation of Qatar was created and it is a huge international educational platform. As a result of our meetings, doors have been opened. I hope that our state figures, educational and research institutions and individuals, who wish to receive education here, can come to study. I will be glad if our young people receive high quality education here, and then come back to the Fatherland. As for practical ties, the areas are multiple.
First of all, Qatar is very interested in modern technologies. At the WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) our first discourse was about artificial intelligence. Every one realizes that without artificial intelligence airspace shuttles will not be operational tomorrow, modern technologies cannot be managed, even education and science will not function. It is means that artificial intelligence is very important. I have invited the leader of Qatar to conduct an official visit to Armenia. I have also invited the partners and Sheikha Moza to participate in a number of international conferences which will take place in Armenia. Among them the Armenian Summit of Minds, next June, and STARMUS festival for science, technologies and universe. They are very interested in coming. They have great interest in new technologies, provide enormous sums of money to develop that area while we have potential. We don’t have that industry yet but we have talented software engineers who can become the base of that industry. However, we need to work hard and support that area because any area needs support if we want to elevate it to the world level. Our neighboring and other states, the entire world think that the future of their country and of the world is linked to new technologies. It means that we are also in competition and to provide for the best ideas and financial support, we need to create proper conditions – talented people, good universities, an excellent educational system as well as financial, possibly tax break support. We need to demonstrate that through us they will have the opportunity to sell their product at the larger Eurasian market. Another interesting topic was food safety which is significant for Qatar, Persian Gulf countries, and Armenia.
Food safety is not about the safety of food quality, it’s about its proportion distribution, sustainability, steady production and import. In case of Armenia, it is also true that we need to export not only the products produced in our country but also be able to sell products on the markets of third countries.
Thirdly, Qatar, which is one of the richest countries of the world, has different mechanisms and foundations which make investments in various countries and in various areas, ranging from mining, metallurgy to agriculture. Armenia can attract financial investments.”
Recapping his visit, President Armen Sarkissian said that in a sense it opened a new page in the Armenian-Qatari relations. There is support of Qatar and its leadership. “Upon my return to Yerevan, I will encourage for these relations to develop very dynamically,” the President of Armenia said.