Mayor Nutter on Friday hosted the ambassador from Qatar, the tiny Persian Gulf monarchy that has the world's highest per-capita GDP and sits on the largest natural gas reserve, in a spruced-up City Hall.
Ambassador Mohamed Bin Abdullah Al-Rumaihi met with the mayor and most of his top-ranking administration officials over a catered breakfast in the Mayor's Reception Room.
The ambassador spoke highly of the United States and said his country is interested in making investments in Philadelphia.
Nutter said he looked forward to discussing "areas of mutual interest and concern and developing the kind of relationship that is long-lasting and beneficial."
At least part of the Philly-Qatar connection can be attributed to Comcast, the largest U.S. distributor of the cable network CurrentTV, which will soon become Al Jazeera English. The Qatari government owns Al Jazeera, which is set to make its first major in the U.S. market through its recent purchase of CurrentTV from Al Gore.
Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen spoke briefly at the ceremony, touting Philly's historical, economic and culutral successes.
Patrick Nickolas Theros, the former U.S. ambassador to Qatar and president of the US-Qatar Business Council, was also in attendance.
The Qatari delegation will get an administration-curated whirlwind tour of the city today and tomorrow, visiting sites like the Navy Yard business complex and Children and the airport.
The Mayor's Office did not immediately return a request for what the visit will cost the city.