Cyprus can be considered as Qatar’s “ambassador in Brussels”, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Tuesday.

Speaking after the arrival of Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani at the Presidential palace in Nicosia, he said Cyprus can be considered to hold that role as a member state of the European Union.

“We are in the same region, we have excellent relations, but there are many prospects for further strengthening our bilateral relations, as well as for our cooperation in the region,” he said.

He added that there is “sincere political will” on the part of Cyprus to work with Qatar in the fields of the economy, investment and tourism.

We can learn a lot from your own success story, and I want to commend your role in the developments in Qatar,” he said.

Al Thani used his speech to express concern over developments in Gaza, and stressed the need for a ceasefire.

The emir had been welcomed at the palace by Christodoulides and members of his cabinet before the national anthems of Cyprus and Qatar were played.

After the end of the formalities, the pair began a private meeting, while talks between delegations of both countries took place in parallel.

At the end of the meetings, Christodoulides held a meal in Al Thani’s honour.

At the meal, Christodoulides said a “new chapter” had been opened in bilateral relations between Cyprus and Qatar.

He said Al Thani’s visit was a “unique honour” which allowed him to “repay the warm and excellent welcome” shown to him by Al Thani during his visit to Qatar in November.

“Cyprus and Qatar are connected by geography and are part of the same neighbourhood. We are both advocates of diplomacy, dialogue and cooperation, and we respond to the challenges of our region by fighting to establish stability, peace and security,” he said.

Christodoulides and Al Thani also agreed to establish a working committee to enhance bilateral relations and strategic partnerships, to be headed in Cyprus by undersecretary to the president Irini Piki.

The two leaders stressed the need for tangible results within six months.

Al Thani highlighted Qatar’s interest in strategic collaborations, particularly in energy and port infrastructure.

Qatar seeks to participate in natural gas exploitation within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), as well as in the construction and management of photovoltaic installations and energy storage facilities. Additionally, Qatar is looking into investments in the financial sector, including banking and technology startups.

Political discussions focused on regional developments, with both leaders expressing concern over the Gaza crisis. They also discussed the Amalthea humanitarian aid corridor to Gaza, with Al Thani pledging financial and political support.

The discussions also stretched to potential collaborations in culture, transport, and tourism. The Cyprus problem was also a key point during the talks between the two leaders.

Al Thani is due to depart on Tuesday evening.

He arrived in Cyprus on Monday, being greeted at Larnaca airport by Christodoulides and other Cypriot ministers, as well as two children in traditional Cypriot dress who offered him flowers.