Italy and Qatar agree to continue economic cooperation

The deal signals Italian support for Qatar in its worst diplomatic row with some Gulf and Arab countries in years.

    Qatar's Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi [L] met Italy's Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan [R] in Rome on the first leg of a tour of major capitals in Europe. [Reuters]
    Qatar's Finance Minister Ali Sherif al-Emadi [L] met Italy's Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan [R] in Rome on the first leg of a tour of major capitals in Europe. [Reuters]

    Italy and Qatar have agreed to continue their close economic and financial cooperation, despite last week's decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Arab countries to cut diplomatic, travel and trade ties with Qatar.

    The agreement followed a meeting between Qatari Minister of Finance Ali Sherif al-Emadi and Italian Minister of Economy and Finance Pier Carlo Padoan in Rome on Monday.

    "The meeting took place in a highly cordial atmosphere, in line with the excellent state of political and economic relations between the two countries," the two countries said in a joint statement.

    Al-Emadi's visit to Italy is part of a tour of major European capitals that will also take him to Paris, London, Berlin and Washington. 

    Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Arab countries cut diplomatic as well as travel and trade ties with Qatar last week, accusing it of supporting Iran and funding Islamist groups. Doha denied the charges.

    READ MORE: Israel, Saudi, UAE team up in anti-Qatar lobbying move

    Earlier on Monday al-Emadi said that his country can easily defend its economy and currency against the sanctions.

    He told CNBC television that the countries that had imposed sanctions on Qatar would also lose money because of the damage to business in the region.

    "A lot of people think we're the only ones to lose in this ... If we're going to lose a dollar, they will lose a dollar also," he said.

    SOURCE: News agencies


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