Qatar creates new residency status for foreigners

A migrant worker enters the Search and Follow Up Department in Doha on November 8, 2016. Tens of thousands of resident foreigners in Qatar are expected to benefit from a new rule giving resident status to certain foreign residents who have “given service to Qatar” or have “skills that can benefit the country,” the Qatar News Agency said on Thursday. (AFP file photo)
Updated 05 August 2017

Qatar creates new residency status for foreigners

DOHA: Qatar has created a new permanent resident status for certain groups of foreigners, including those who have worked for the benefit of the state.
Qatar’s Cabinet ministers approved the measures, the Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported, in a move that will likely affect tens of thousands of resident foreigners.
Under the new rules, children with a Qatari mother and a foreign father can benefit from the new status along with foreign residents who have “given service to Qatar” or have “skills that can benefit the country,” the agency said.
A specially created Interior Ministry commission will decide individual cases, according to the QNA.
Those deemed eligible for the new status will be afforded the same access as Qataris to free public services, such as health and education.
They will also receive preferable treatment for jobs in the administration and armed services as well as being able to own their own properties and exercise some commercial activities without the need for a Qatari partner.
While stopping short of offering Qatari nationality, the new measures constitute a first for the Gulf.
The move comes as Qatar languishes under sanctions imposed by the Anti-Terror Quartet — comprising Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE.
Kuwait is leading mediation efforts in the crisis.


Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

Updated 29 October 2020

Lebanon sets out its claim in maritime border talks

  • A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”

BEIRUT: Lebanese negotiators laid out their claim to maritime territory on Wednesday as they began a second round of talks with Israel over their disputed sea border.
The contested zone in the Mediterranean is an estimated 860 square kilometers known as Block 9, which is rich in oil and gas. Future negotiations will also tackle the countries’ land border.
Wednesday’s meeting took place at the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) amid tight security. An assistant of the UN special coordinator for Lebanon chaired the session, and the US Ambassador to Algeria, John Desrocher, was the mediator.
A military source told Arab News: “The Lebanese side considers that Israel, through the border line it drew for itself, is eating into huge areas of Lebanese economic waters.”
The Lebanese delegation produced maps and documents to support their claim to the disputed waters.
In indirect talks between Lebanon and Israel in 2012, US diplomat Frederick Hoff proposed “a middle line for the maritime borders, whereby Lebanon would get 58 percent of the disputed area and Israel would be given the remaining 42 percent, which translates to 500 square kilometers for Lebanon and 300 square kilometers for Israel.”
On the eve of Wednesday’s meeting, Lebanese and Israeli officials met to discuss a framework to resolve the conflict through the implementation of UN Resolution 1701.
UNIFIL Commander Maj. Gen. Stefano Del Col praised the “constructive role that both parties played in calming tensions along the Blue Line” and stressed the necessity of “taking proactive measures and making a change in the prevailing dynamics regarding tension and escalation.”