Marrakech / Information Office / November 04
HE the Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani affirmed that the State of Qatar has called for dialogue as a solution to crises and that the Gulf crisis was emeged without any basis. HE the Minister expressed his hope that wisdom will prevail one day and that the countries will come to the dialogue table again.
"The Gulf States have been the center of stability. It has been a model and an example of collective cooperation to achieve a common goal, to create a more peaceful future, prosperity and better economic integration to serve the future of GCC people. GCC countries was like this a few months ago, until a crisis began out of nothing, without any basis. Suddenly the GCC, especially State of Qatar became front page news. The crisis is happening in a region which is considered a source of energy from oil and liquefied gas in the world. " HE the Foreign Minister said as he was speaking at the World Policy Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco on Friday.
HE the Minister noted that the international system has failed to protect civilians in different areas of conflict, such as Syria, Yemen, Libya and now in Qatar.
"Our people do not face the same difficulties as the Syrians, Yemenis, Libyans or the Iraqis, but they are facing great difficulties, when their families are torn apart by political conflict and when we have more than 2,600 cases of human rights violations, HE added. " And why the international system couldnt stop these crisis from happening and why there is no real mechanism for protecting the people of Qatar, the Syrian people and protecting humanity from these escalations?" HE enquired .
HE expressed his belief that "this is a very important global challenge, and I hope that this gathering will be able to reach some recommendations in order for the international community to meet the law of force with the force of law, "I do not want to spend too much time explaining our situation, but I think it is quite similar to other cases, but not at the same level. There are a lot of challenges, but because the region is living in a state of tension, we do not believe that this region can withstand further crises.
HE Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that "If we are talking about a region that cannot afford additional crises, we are talking about an unnecessary crisis, a crisis that went on without any basis, and we hope that one day wisdom will prevail, and that countries that try to avoid participation will come," and avoid addressing any of the security fears , which raise our security concerns.
"We have to learn from history rather than learn to test everything." The world has witnessed similar conflicts and crises, which took years and years without any of them being resolved on the battlefield, or by confrontation, but at the negotiating table, and we hope that all crises in the Middle East will be resolved around the same table. ", HE the Minister underlined
HE the Foreign Minister said for ages, the Middle East was a source of civilizations, it was the origin of languages and the cradle of various faiths," he said, adding that it was the international trade hub , where it was connecting the east to the west and the west to east where people can connect and can engage. The key word for this was coexistence and engagement of people from different backgrounds and from different ethnicities, HE the Minister noted.
He said : Now the situation is changed and reverted unfortunately. We don't want this to revert to the dark ages, where we were the source of enlightening , we don't want to be a source of turbulence to the world, HE the Minister added.
HE the Minister said : I believe most of the international challenges are now happening in the Middle East region where we have different ongoing conflicts from the Palestinian- Israeli conflict , Yemen we have humanitarian catastrophe , there, Libya , a turbulent situation where it is spilling over everywhere , in Europe, Africa and the sub-Sahara area , the issue which is still ongoing in Iraq and unfortunately the horrifying situation in the recent history is what is happening now in Syria, where it's a continuous seven years of conflict, he said.
HE the Foreign Minister added that this conflict started with a decent demand from the normal people asking for justice , asking for their rights , asking for some reforms and unfortunately they confronted with military action and bombardment , and the situation has changed from people situation and a crisis of people to a crisis of terrorism and extremism.
HE the Minister said : If we try to look into all those conflicts , we will find that there are different narratives and normally they are are using the religion as an escape goat for those narratives , but , if we are going to look at all of them , we will find one common theme here is that those who want and seek power , always create crises.
HE the Minister said : when we are looking at one example of Syria, we see that the government wants to preserve power , that is why they creating the crisis , where more than 500,000 people have been killed and more than 12 million have been displaced. HE the Minister added by saying that all this is just for the sake of power, the extremists are nurturing there just to achieve a religion state , their vision is a political one , it is all about game of power , game of influence.
On Qatar-US relations, HE the Foreign Minister said that , Qatar and the US have always enjoyed good and strong relationship in military , investment , economy and education fields.
He we are hosting 11,000 US troops and the Central Command . We are under a blockade . There's a direct impact even on our joint training , which has been suspended by the US until the crisis is over, HE the Foreign Minister added.
"There is a series of events that have had a major impact on the security relationship, not only on US-Qatari relations but on the US-GCC relationship, and the US policy toward the Middle East and the fight against terrorism," he said.
Regarding the US position of neutrality, HE said: "from the beginning the US has been very clear in its position, as they want to resolve this crisis, we are the country that is subjected to this aggression from these four countries. We expect more allies and more friends to declare their rejection of the violation of international law, and the US has been at the forefront of these countries, they try to call for dialogue, but in any conflict or crisis, there are always two sides, if it is one part is unwilling to dialogue, the crisis cannot be ended, even if one of the parties is forced to the dialogue table, they will not come up with a good intention to solve the problem.
Qatar maintained its position to resolve this crisis, it will be on the table waiting for it with our friends and allies, whether from the United States or other friendly countries, "he said.
On the Turkish troops in Qatar, the military alliance with Turkey and the future of the relationship between the two countries, HE the Foreign Minister said: "Qatar and Turkey have strong and strategic relations in areas of defence, economy, investment and bilateral trade. The largest presence of foreign troops in Qatar is the US one, and we also have different defenCe cooperation agreements with other countries such as France and the UK, and Turkey is one of them. "He added that their presence in Doha already helps ensure the security, but in the context of a wider range of cooperation between our countries, we also have representation for our troops at Incirlik base in Turkey. Turkey will remain an important regional player and a strong partner and ally of Qatar, but this does not contradict any other alliances or partnerships we have." HE the Minister added.
" If we Abandon our sovereignty and the sever ties with Turkish military relations, then it will be the starting point, and the day may come when we are called to expel American forces outside Qatar and cut off our defense relations with France or the UK. This is unacceptable to any sovereign state, if this is reflected in their list of demands because of some security concerns, first they need to understand that the demands cannot be imposed on a sovereign State, and if there is a conflict or disagreement, there should be dialogue and understanding. So if they have any security concerns, we are ready to sit down and engage in a dialogue to address these issues, because their security concerns will be a source of concern for us as well, because we live in the same region and we are exposed to the same threats," he said."
On Qatar relations with Iran , HE the Foreign Minister said : Our relationship with Iran has always been consistent , but now we have different circumstances . Qatar has been blocked from three sides and i just have one way to send my shipments . "Differences on policies which are based on principles will remain", HE the Foreign Minister underlined..
" Our relationship with Iran will remain the same and differences will be there . But we can't afford any escalation with any country including Iran.
Iran is a neighboring country with whom we share borders and a gas field. We have to engage and not allow and escalation , otherwise we will create another crisis.
HE the Foreign Minister enquired : how should we overcome those differences ? Is it by confrontation ? It will never work, he said adding that this what we have been calling for since 2015. The irony here he said is that 2015 when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) had been signed , President Obama called all the GCC members to come to Camp David to discuss and address their security concerns with Iran, and he was encouraging the Gulf States to engage in dialogue with Iran , and when President Rouhani expressed his willingness for dialogue to the Emir of Kuwait , all the Gulf leaders agreed to engage in the dialogue which is based on principles. This agreement remained until the end of 2016.. Now when the same countries were invited by the US President to engage in a dialogue on Qatar, no one expressed desire to enter into such a dialogue.
On Hamas , HE the Foreign Minister said , Qatar has always supported the people of Gaza Strip . And our support has always been transparent , Hamas is part which has a position there. We always supported reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, HE the Minister added.
Qatar was the first country to welcome Hamas- Palestinian Authority reconciliation because we believe in unity as a precondition for any peace deal . We have engaged with Hamas political representative office for different engagements for ending two wars and to support national reconciliation .
On Egypt's role in Hamas - Palestinian Authority reconciliation , HE the Minister said whoever is brokering the deal is welcome.
All along the narrative was being used is that Qatar is close to Hamas and that is one of the reasons for the blockade, now suddenly Hamas is being praised in Egypt.
HE the Foreign said : We believe that our support to the reconstruction of Gaza have contributed to peace and stability in the region and we will be the first to celebrate national unity among the Palestinians, "he said,
The Foreign Minister thanked the Government of Morocco for organizing this meeting and hosting the event which was hosted by Doha last year, pointing out that the World Policy Conference has become one of the most important events in the world of politics and international affairs.