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Qatar: VM Sereni’s visit continues

Counter-terrorism, conflict mediation and intra-Afghan negotiations: these are the issues addressed this morning in Doha, Qatar, by Vice Minister Marina Sereni with the Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtany, on the second day of the visit to the country. Vice Minister Sereni and Mr Al-Qathany focused in particular on the importance of the negotiations currently underway in Doha between the Government of Kabul and the Taliban, stressing that, after decades of suffering for the population, the time has come for a constructive dialogue between the parties that can lead to an end to violence and peace. The Vice Minister then recalled how it is necessary to preserve the rights of Afghan women in this process. Crisis of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Libya and Iran were instead at the centre of the meeting with the Emir’s National Security Advisor, Mohammed bin-Ahmed Al Masnad.

Extensive attention to cultural cooperation in subsequent talks with the Minister of State with the rank of Vice Prime Minister Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, President of the Qatar National Library, and the Minister of Culture and Sport, H.E. Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali. Strengthening collaboration in the cultural and scientific field, through joint initiatives and exchanges of experiences – was the opinion shared by both interlocutors – will bring great benefit to the overall bilateral relations between Italy and Qatar.

Yesterday evening, the Vice Minister also met with Undersecretary of Labour Mohammed Hassan Al Obaidy and the Head of the Local Office of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Houtan Homayounpour to know in detail the recent reforms for the protection of foreign workers in the country.

“Qatar,” Marina Sereni stated, “was the first country in the region to introduce a non-discriminatory minimum wage for foreign workers and, above all, it abolished the employer’s authorization requirement for changing jobs, known as ‘kafala’, a system that allowed strict employer control over workers, historically present in the Gulf area. This is a very important turning point for the local labour market, which sets a positive precedent in the region on a sensitive issue in the human rights dialogue”.

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