Beirut / Information Office / February 09
HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani called on all Lebanese parties to give priority to the national interest and accelerate the formation of the government.
In a statement at the Lebanese Republican Palace after a meeting with HE President of the Republic of Lebanon General Michel Aoun, His Excellency affirmed that the State of Qatar will support any path that leads to the formation of the government in Lebanon, adding Qatar does not seek to undermine the French initiative, rather it is working to complete international efforts to form a government.
In response to a question by the Qatar News Agency (QNA) correspondent in Beirut about Qatar's role in resolving the Lebanese crisis and establishing stability in Lebanon through Qatar's contact with the Lebanese factions and regional and international countries influencing the Lebanese internal affairs, His Excellency said that Qatar's message to Lebanon is a message of support and a clear message to all political parties that there must be a priority for the national interest in order to form the government, stressing that this communication continues on a permanent basis, whether through this visit or through communication by other means.
Responding to QNA's question, he added that Qatar's message is the same for all regional countries, and Qatar hopes that everyone will support in this direction to come out with the formation of a government that is agreed upon by all political currents in Lebanon in order to bring stability to Lebanon.
His Excellency reiterated the State of Qatar's support for the brothers in Lebanon, adding that the State of Qatar will always be present and proactive to support the Lebanese people and help them to overcome their crisis, pointing out that Qatar has undertaken some projects and is following up them since the explosion of the Beirut port, such as field hospitals that it sent along with the reconstruction of the Karantina Hospital that was destroyed during the Beirut port explosion, in addition to the reconstruction of some buildings, including more than 55 public schools, 20 technical institutes and 80 university buildings. The State of Qatar will rehabilitate them, in addition to providing scholarships to 400 students at the American University, he said.
HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani affirmed the State of Qatar's continued support for the brothers in Lebanon as well as its efforts and completion of its projects in these devastated areas, wishing the various Lebanese political currents success so that they prioritize the interest of the Lebanese people and work to form a government as soon as possible. We look at the future of Lebanon as a promising and positive future, but this matter requires stability and requires a formed government. We in Qatar wish them all success in their consultations and that the government will be formed as soon as possible, he added.
On a question about a Qatari initiative to solve the Lebanese crisis similar to that of Doha Agreement 2008, His Excellency said that the process of forming the government in Lebanon is an internal matter for politicians in Lebanon, stressing that the State of Qatar has good relations with the various political currents in Lebanon and its message to them is a positive one that is they should cooperate and place the national interest over partisan or political interests. He stressed that the State of Qatar is ready to play a role if requested by the Lebanese parties to do so, adding that he is confident that the political currents in Lebanon are capable to give priority to their national interest and that the State of Qatar will support any efforts to form a government that brings political stability to Lebanon.
Regarding the written message from HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to HE the Lebanese President, His Excellency said that the message expresses Qatar's support for the brothers in Lebanon and encourages the parties to give priority to the national interest over political interests in order to achieve the formation of a government and political stability in Lebanon.
The State of Qatar always has consultations with all friendly countries interested in Lebanese affairs, and everyone agrees that this stage is sensitive in Lebanon and there must be a government as soon as possible, and all the countries that Qatar talks with are in the same direction, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs added.
In response to a question about Qatar presenting a new initiative that undermines the French initiative, His Excellency said that it has nothing to do with undermining the French initiative and we are completing international efforts, expressing his aspirations to meet with HE Prime Minister-Designate Saad Hariri, who is currently outside the country, on upcoming visits to Lebanon.
On the invitation of the political parties to Doha, HE added that the Lebanese are welcome at any time, but there is no initiative on the table to invite the parties to consult in Doha to solve the Lebanese crisis, hoping that the solution will be in Beirut as soon as possible.
With regard to the financial aid to Lebanon from Qatar, His Excellency said that allocating an integrated economic program to Lebanon requires the formation of a government, stressing that the State of Qatar in its policy does not provide financial support in cash, but in the form of programs that make a difference in the state's economy and in the interest of the people. This requires a stable government and work on economic programs that serve the people.