Cyprus' President Nikos Christodoulides, left, and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim...

Cyprus' President Nikos Christodoulides, left, and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani review a military guard of honor, prior to their meeting at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Qatar's Emir is in Cyprus for an official visit. Credit: AP/Philippos Christou

NICOSIA, Cyprus — The emir of Qatar is looking to invest in energy and high-tech in Cyprus — projects seen as having a strong economic potential, a Cypriot official said Tuesday.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who visited the east Mediterranean island nation on Tuesday for the first time, is also interested in investing in Cypriot ports and banking institutions, the official said.

Qatar is a strong supporter of a maritime aid corridor that ferries humanitarian aid from the Cypriot port of Larnaca to the besieged Gaza Strip via a U.S. built temporary pier off the Palestinian territory. Al Thani has helped with funding the initiative’s humanitarian aid collection.

The temporary pier was damaged by rough seas over the weekend and temporarily suspended operations, officials said.

Al Thani and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides held talks and agreed to set up a working group to gauge progress made in forging closer economic and political ties, the Cypriot official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the subject.

A Cyprus government statement said the emir expressed his concern over developments in the southern Gaza city of Rafah where an Israeli military offensive is underway.

Qatar, along with Egypt and the United States, has been mediating to broker a cease-fire deal that would free about 100 Israeli hostages being held by Gaza's militant Hamas rulers and in efforts to end the war.

Cyprus' President Nikos Christodoulides, left, and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim...

Cyprus' President Nikos Christodoulides, left, and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani review a military guard of honor, prior to their meeting at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Qatar's Emir is in Cyprus for an official visit. Credit: AP/Philippos Christou

Qatar is also partners with ExxonMobil in oil and gas exploration in one of 13 areas, or blocks, inside Cyprus' exclusive economic zone off the island's southern coastline.

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