The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established at Ambassadorial level on 12 June 1976. The Sri Lankan Mission in Doha was established in June 1997. The Embassy of Qatar in Sri Lanka was established in 2004. Exchange of high level visits will help to strengthen the bilateral relations as well as to consolidate ties between the two countries.
Bilateral visits from Sri Lanka
- State Visit by former President Miathripala Sirisena to the State of Qatar from 25th to 26th Nov. 2017 at the invitation of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
At the invitation of the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Former President Maithripala Sirisena undertook a two-day State visit to the State of Qatar, on 25-26 October 2017.
Former President Sirisena was received at the Emiri Diwan by Emir Hamad Al Thani, followed by a ceremonial guard of honour, and bilateral discussions. Both leaders recalled the long-standing friendly relations between the two countries, and their own meetings in 2015 during Emir Al Thani’s visit to Sri Lanka, and at other international fora, which have contributed to the further consolidation of bilateral relations. They highlighted the importance of the exchange of visits, and expressed confidence that the State Visit of former President Sirisena would enhance bilateral political, economic and trade ties.
Emir Hamad Al Thani appreciated the contribution made by over 150,000 Sri Lankans who live and work in Qatar. While thanking the Qatari Government for providing employment opportunities for Sri Lankans, former President Sirisena conveyed that he was extremely pleased to see the Sri Lankans in Qatar living very happily, and expressed hope that there would be more employment opportunities in the skilled and professional categories for Sri Lankans in the State of Qatar.
- Visit by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to the State of Qatar in May 2012 to participate at the Doha Forum
The former President Mahinda Rajapaksa visited Qatar to participate in the 12th Doha Forum and enriching the Middle East Economic Future Conference from 19 – 22 May 2012.
The former President met His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. During the meeting H.H. the Emir of Qatar and the Sri Lanka President discussed bilateral relations and topics on the forum agenda.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs Prof. G.L. Peiris met Hon. Al-Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani former Prime- Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar.
On 21st May 2012, a reception was held by Ambassador at the Four Season Hotel for the Sri Lankan Community to meet H.E. the President. Agreement for the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment between the two countries was signed during the visit.
- Visit of Former First Lady to attend the 5th International Shafallah Forum, 22-24 January 2012
On an invitation extended by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, Madam Shiranthi Rajapaksa, the former First Lady of Sri Lanka visited the State of Qatar from 22nd – 24th January 2012 to attend the Fifth International Shafallah Forum - "Crisis, Conflict and Disability: Ensuring Equality".
Other bilateral visits to Qatar
- A delegation led by former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Hussain Bhaila, visited Qatar from 11th –18th June 2007.
- Hon. Keheliya Rambukwella, former Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare led a Sri Lankan delegation to Qatar and held bilateral meetings with HE Dr Sultan bin Hassan al-Dhabit al-Dousari, Minister of Labour of Qatar in October 2007.
- Hon. A.H.M. Fowzie, former Minister of Petroleum and Petroleum Resources Development visited Qatar from 29th October to 1st November 2007 to attend the opening session of Doha 6th Conference on Natural Gas.
- A six-member delegation of business representatives from Sri Lanka visited Qatar and signed an MOU with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce & Industry on 2nd December 2007 to boost trade between the two countries.
- A delegation led by Hon. Hussain Bhaila, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Qatar from 13th – 15th April 2008 to attend the 8th Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade. During the visit Hon Deputy Minister paid a courtesy call on the State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar H.E. Ahmed Bin Abdullah Al Mahmud.
- Former Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama paid an official visit to Qatar and met with His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani at the Emiri Diwan (Royal Palace) in Doha on 11th January 2009.
- Hon. Prof. G.L.Peiris, Minister of External Affairs visited State of Qatar from 14th – 15th February 2011. Hon. Minister met with His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al – Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar at the Emiri Diwan.
- Hon. Minister Rishard Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, participated in the 14th Doha Forum, from 12th – 14th May 2014. The visit was an opportunity to exchange views, interact and network with other participants on critical political, economic, social financial and strategic issues.
- Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce visited Qatar to attend the First Meeting of Qatar Sri Lanka Joint Commission on Economic & Technical Cooperation from 14th to 15th September 2014.
- Hon. Lakshman Kiriella, Minister of Higher Education & Highways visited to Qatar from 21st to 24th January 2016 for attend as the Chief Guest of Stafford School Conversation in Doha.
- Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, former Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Qatar in 8-9 July 2017 and had discussion with the followings:
- His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar
- Hon. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Qatar
- H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Hon. Tilak Marapana, Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Qatar on 15th April 2018. Hon. Minister discussed with the Ambassador regarding the political, economic situation, welfare of the Sri Lankan expatriates and the employment opportunities in Qatar.
- Hon. Vasantha Senanayake, State Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Qatar from 11th – 13th May 2018 with a purpose of resolving the issues with regard to the Stafford Sri Lankan School, Doha.
- Hon. Karunarathna Paranawithana, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology, Research, Skills Development & Vocational Training and Kandyan Heritage visited Qatar from 20th – 21st August 2018. Hon. Minister visited the Stafford Sri Lankan School, Doha.
- Hon. Ravindra Samaraweera, Minister of Labour and Trade Union Relations visited Qatar on 27th August 2018. Hon. Minister visited the Stafford Sri Lankan School in Qatar.
- Hon. Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy, Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the delegation visited Qatar on 13th September 2018. Hon. Governor visited the Stafford Sri Lanka School, Doha.
- Mr. N.W.G.R. Dhammika Nanayakkara, Assistant Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the delegation visited Qatar on 21st November 2018 and had meeting with Mr. Khalid Bin Saud Al- Thani, Executive Director, Financial System Stability & Statistic Sector on the currency SWAP Agreement between the Central Bank of Qatar and Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
- Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, MP, Speaker and the Parliamentary delegation, visited to State of Qatar to attend 140th IPU Assembly & related Meetings from 6th to 12th April 2019.
Bilateral Visits from Qatar
- State Visit of His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar to Sri Lanka – 24th March 2015
- The following MoUs were signed during the State visit;
- MoU on Cooperation in the field of Youth
- MoU on Cooperation in the field of Sports
- MoU on Mutual Cooperation on Exchange of News
- State Visit of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, former Emir of the State of Qatar to Sri Lanka – 15th -16th January 2012
His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, former Emir of the State of Qatar visited Sri Lanka on an invitation extended by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It was the first visit by a Head of State from Qatar to Sri Lanka. The high level delegation accompanied by the Qatari Emir comprised of Ministers, senior officials and a group of prominent business leaders.
Marking an important mile-stone in Sri Lanka-Qatari relations, nine (9) Bilateral Agreements/MoUs were signed covering investment, economic cooperation, tourism, education, agriculture and legal fields in addition to the agreement signed for the formation of a high joint committee between Qatar and Sri Lanka.
Other bilateral visits from Qatar
- A Qatari Government Delegation visited Sri Lanka on 5th December 2007 to finalize the draft Agreement concerning the Regulation of Manpower Employment in the State of Qatar.
- H.E. Dr Sultan bin Hassan al-Dhabit al-Dousari, Minister of Labour of Qatar delegation visited Sri Lanka in January 2008 and signed the Agreement on Manpower Employment between the two States with the objective of regulating the employment of Sri Lankan manpower in the State of Qatar.
- The visits by His Excellency Dr. Khalid Bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, Minister of State for International Cooperation in 2008 and His Excellency Ahmad Bin Abdullah Bin Z. Al-Mahmoud, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Member of the Council of Ministers of Qatar in 2009 contributed towards enhanced cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, culture and labour relations.
- H.E.Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar visited Sri Lanka from 12th -13th December 2011.
Signed Agreements/ MoUs between Sri Lanka and Qatar are as follows:
Signed Agreements/ MoUs between Sri Lanka and Qatar are as follows:
- Air Services Agreement
- Confidential MoU on Air Services. (31st May 1995)
- Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income. (07th November 2004)
- Agreement of Cooperation in the Field of Culture (15th January 2012)
- Agreement on Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation (15th January 2012)
- MOU for Cooperation in Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research .( 15th January 2012)
- MOU on the Establishment of a High Joint Committee (15th January 2012)
- Agreement for the Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investments.(22nd May 2012)
- Agreement Concerning the Regulation of Sri Lankan Manpower Employment in the State of Qatar. (09th January 2008)
- Agreement for Cooperation in the Legal Field (15th January 2012)
- MOU Concerning Real Estate Investment Cooperation between BOI of Sri Lanka and Qatari Real Estate Investment Company.( 15th January 2012)
- MOU on Tourism Co-operation
- MoU concerning Investment Cooperation between the Board of Investment of Sri Lanka and Qatar Holding LLC. (15th January 2012)
- MoU on Cooperation in the field of Sports (24th May 2015)
- MoU on Cooperation in the field of Youth. (24th May 2015)
- MoU on Cooperation and Exchange of News (24th May 2015)
- The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce entered into a MoU with the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and industry in December 2007
- MoU on Cooperation in the field of Diplomatic Training and Research 26th October 2017
- MoU in the field of Health & Medical Science -26th October 2017
- MoU in the field of Waste Water Management- 26th October 2017
- MoU on Cooperation in Energy Sector- 26th October 2017
- MoU with the Financial Intelligence Unit of Sri Lanka on Cooperation in the Field of Exchange of Financial Intelligence. – 26th October 2017
- MoU on Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic, Special and Official Passports 26th October 2017
- Agreement on Donation of US$ 500,000 by Qatar Fund of Development 26th October 2017