The Lehendakari considers that the objective of “beginning to open the door” in the Middle East has been fulfilled
The Basque delegation concluded its business mission with a visit to the Iberdrola plant and an interview on Al Jazeera
"No we begin the really important matters". In this manner the Lehendakari defined the horizon that faces the Basque Government following the business mission that concluded today in Qatar. After an intense week, replete with encounters and meetings at the highest level, the Basque Delegation commences the return journey to the Basque Country "with a fuller agenda than the one it arrived with" and with "many pending tasks" that require immediate attention. The Lehendakari stressed that the work carried out over the last few days has enabled companies and chambers of commerce to establish relations with those charged with decision-making in important development projects in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, set to be implemented over the course of the next few years, contacts and opportunities that "now must be turned into a reality". "The evaluation of this mission is entirely positive", he stated.
The Lehendakari's last day in Qatar began with a meeting with the Minister for Municipality, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin Khalifa Bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani, with whom the Lehendakari analysed the various development opportunities that Basque Countries might find in Qatar. The Lehendakari also held a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for the Presidency and Head of the Royal Household, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah. Later, the business mission travelled to the Chamber of Commerce in order to sign a collaboration agreement between the chamber in Qatar and the Basque chambers. Finally, the Lehendakari and the Minister for Industry, Bernabé Unda, held an interview with the Minister for Energy and Industry, Mohammed Saleh Al-Sada, analysing the current situation of oil, gas and renewable energies.
In the evening, the entire Basque delegation travelled to the Iberdrola plant in order to become acquainted with its operation and the details of the services provided by the Basque company in Qatar. "Iberdrola is one of our best visiting cards in Qatar," the Lehendakari stated after visiting the plant.
The Lehendakari on Al Jazeera
The Minister for Industry, Innovation, Trade and Tourism, Bernabé Unda, also had a very positive evaluation of the work undertaken by his ministry over the course of the week, wherein they have tried to explain some of the formulae employed by the Basque County in the fields of industry and business, such as the operation of the clusters or public-private collaboration. Unda stressed the important new opportunities that have been opened for Basque companies, which, in conjunction with the Lehendakari, he encouraged to "grow in size" in order to compete in a globalised market.
During this press conference, the Lehendakari summarised the interview given in Al Jazeera wherein he explained the political situation following ETA's latest communiqué. The Lehendakari explained that whilst "hope has appeared, ETA has not announced its disappearance, whereby all the prudence in the world is required." Mr López attempted to explain the reason why a terrorist group exists in the Basque Country, given the current levels of self-government and attempted to erase the stereotypical image that is sometimes associated with ETA as "a type of romantic pro-independence group fighting against an oppressive State, when the exact opposite is true: ETA has set out to oppress the Basque people."