PRAGUE (AP) - Qatar's emir paid his first visit to the Czech Republic on Wednesday for business talks expected to include a potential deal for deliveries of Qatari liquefied natural gas.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who is accompanied by a large delegation, was formally greeted by Czech President Milos Zeman at the Prague Castle.
The emir and his entourage will meet Czech officials including Finance Minister Zbynek Stanura, Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Sikela and Transport Minister Martin Kupka.
Among other issues, talks are expected to focus on deliveries of liquified natural gas from Qatar, the world's biggest LNG exporter. Following the Kremlin's war on Ukraine, t he Czech Republic, like other European nations, is seeking alternative sources for fossil fuels to replace its former dependence on Russian gas.
Later in the day, the emir will meet Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala.
Other issues to be discussed include cooperation in the arms industry, space technology and the possible involvement of Qatari investors in building Czech transport infrastructure.
An economy and trade cooperation deal between the Czech Republic and Qatar was expected to be signed at the Prague Castle later Wednesday.
During his three-day visit, the emir is also expected to meet some of the leaders from more than 40 countries who are attending a summit in Prague on Thursday aimed at boosting security and prosperity across Europe.