On Tuesday the Kremlin will host Russian President Vladimir Putin's talks with Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani who arrived on an official two-day visit in Moscow last night. Moscow assigns priority to the first-ever visit to Russia by Qatar's Emir, Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokesman Alexander Yakovenko told RIA Novosti. Taking into account that Qatar is presiding over the Islamic Conference Organisation, the talks will focus on the situation in the Middle East, first of all, around Palestine and on the Palestinian-Israeli settlement on the basis of the Mitchell-Tenet plan, Yakovenko said. Putin and Sheikh Hamad will also discuss the situation around Iraq, the cooperation on the success of the counter-terrorist operation in Afghanistan and the political settlement in this country. The talks will also focus on trade, economic and investment cooperation. The sides believe that trade and economic relations do not meet the level of political contacts. The foreign trade turnover between Russia and Qatar does not exceed $1 million a year. Russia and Qatar expect the Emir's coming visit to give an impetus to the development of bilateral economic relations and to cooperation in the spheres of gas, oil and energy. Russia is likely to participate in the implementation of a major project of constructing a gas pipeline between Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman and pipelines to link Qatar with Bahrain and Kuwait. The Russian President and Qatar's Emir are expected to sign an agreement on mutual protection and encouragement of investments and on cooperation between the two countries' chambers of commerce and industry.
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