The Government of Qatar has committed to investing 300 million euros in Spanish savings banks, the Spanish government announced Monday following a visit of Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero with Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thanir in Qatar.
The funding is being billed by Spanish media as a way of ensuring the solid financial position of the saving banks, and to shore off possible pressure being felt as the economic crisis continues to hit Spain.
The agenda for this trip, the first that the Spanish Prime Minister has made to the Arab Emirates, was to consider bilateral political relations and the preparation of the Emir’s visit to Spain next October.
From an economic point of view, amongst the objectives of the trip is the interest in the infrastructures sector, as well as to capture investment in renewable energies, since the Arab Emirates have made a significant commitment in this field, in spite of having oil resources.
On Defence matters, Abu Dhabi is a strategic location as a stopover for Spanish troops en route to Afghanistan, and therefore work is ongoing so that this Emirate may serve as a stopover platform for Spanish troops. Spain and the Arab Emirates are, in addition, working on a joint project in Kabul to train those responsible for agricultural rural development.
In that vein, the Government of Spain and the United Arab Emirates are working on a set of agreements on various matters such as those that affect defence; cultural, educational and scientific cooperation; the training of judges and magistrates; and diplomatic representation in Spanish Embassies.